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Monday, April 24, 2000


Jockey Walter Swinburn has retired from race-riding for the final time. The 38-year-old, rarely out of the headlines since winning the 1981 Derby on Shergar, told his weighing-room colleagues the news at Kempton on Saturday after partnering Bogus Dreams in the Sovereign Bookmakers Easter Stakes. He told his fellow riders: "That's it lads - I'm finished."

Swinburn has pursued a long battle against the scales and had a break from August, 1998, until last month in order to overcome his weight problems.

Wally Swinburn, the rider's father, said: "He told me he had stopped enjoying it and felt there was a lot more to life. The main problem was that the weight hadn't settled and, before taking it too far, he realised that his health was going to be affected. He'll now take time to decide on his future."

He rode a total of eight British classic winners including two further Derbys on Shahrastani (1986) and Lammtarra (1995).

Sir Michael Stoute, who trained both Shergar and Shahrastani, said yesterday: "We enjoyed many marvellous moments together and I'll always savour that. I enjoyed him riding our horses and I wish him well."

Although Swinburn has not announced his plans for the future, it would be no surprise to see him become more involved in the bloodstock world. He owns, with his family, Genesis Green Stud near Newmarket, and regularly attended the sales at Tattersalls last autumn.


A total of nine entries remain in Saturday's Thresher Classic Trial following today's five-day confirmation stage. The Sandown Group 3 contest is the first major Vodafone Derby trial of the season and Beat Hollow, ante-post favourite for the premier classic, is among the nine.

Those entered are:
BEAT HOLLOW - Henry Cecil
JALAD - Ben Hanbury
MONTE CARLO - Richard Hannon
PAWN BROKER - David Elsworth
SAKHEE - John Dunlop
THARI - Ben Hanbury
ZAFONIC'S SONG - Sir Michael Stoute
WHITEFOOT - Gerard Butler


Distant Music,market leader for the Sagitta 2000 Guineas, is back in easy work at home, having finished lame when narrowly beaten by Barathea Guest in last week's Greenham Stakes.

"He cantered this morning - just a gentle canter," Teddy Beckett, racing manager to owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, said yesterday. "It's up to (trainer) Barry (Hills) when he wants to give him a proper workout, but I would hope he's back on course for the Guineas."

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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