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Kirby earns ultimate reprieve as Adayar wins Cazoo Derby

5 Jun 2021

Jockey delivers Godolphin and Charlie Appleby a second Cazoo Derby, having lost ride on John Leeper

Jockey Adam Kirby dealt the Cazoo Derby a 16/1 shock on Adayar, just days after losing the ride on John Leeper to Frankie Dettori.

Instead, he was given the Godolphin third string Adayar to ride on Cazoo Derby Day – and what a ride in turned out to be. A first British Classic win on a beautiful day at Epsom, in front of crowds for the first time since 2019.

Gear Up and Youth Spirit took the field along in the opening stages of the race, closely tracked by Ryan Moore and hot-favourite Bolshoi Ballet – Aidan O’Brien’s only runner in the race. It wasn’t until rounding Tattenham Corner that the race began to unfold.

Gear up was first off the bridle as runners from midfield began to creep closer, including Hurricane Lane, Mac Swiney and eventual second Mojo Star. Bolshoi Ballet could not go with the pace and began to lose ground.

Taking the shortest route, Adam Kirby crept down a charmed passage on the far side rail, and began to push his mount forward four furlongs out.

The response was gradual, but effective, as he nudged into the lead. Most of his rivals were toiling at this point, and the colt engaged his stamina on the run in. It looked as if only stablemate Hurricane Lane or Mojo Star could catch him, but in truth the race was won with over a furlong to go.

Kirby then pushed his mount out, passed the line several lengths ahead and the jockey let out a huge roar in delight.

Mojo Star and the young David Egan riding in the race for the first time claimed second. Godolphin stablemate Hurricane Lane and William Buick a further two lengths back in 2nd.

After the race, a delighted Adam Kirby, said: “Quite unbelievable, it hasn’t sunk in yet. I can’t thank Charlie Appleby enough, he is the most loyal man.”

“I just hope my mother and my kids were watching!”