Limerick jockey targets Epsom Derby glory

Colm Kinsella

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Colm Kinsella

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Limerick jockey targets Epsom Derby glory

Rathkeale jockey Emmet McNamara is targetting Investec Epsom Derby glory this Saturday

HIGHLY rated Limerick jockey Emmet McNamara is eyeing Investec Derby glory at Epsom Racecourse this Saturday at 4.55pm.

Thirty year-old Emmet, from Rathkeale, son of leading trainer Eric McNamara, will take the mount on the Aidan O'Brien-trained Serpentine in the big race. 

The Investec Derby is the most valuable race in Britain and the most prestigious of flat racing's five Classics.

In-form jockey Emmet finished runner-up in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday last as his mount Tiger Moth, again trained by Aidan O'Brien, had to give way to stable mate Santiago in a thrilling finish to the Irish Classic.

Emmet McNamara is a key member of O'Brien's backroom team at Coolmore.

Serpentine is currently a 20/1 shot with the bookmakers to give McNamara a first Epsom Derby success, while trainer Aidan O'Brien is looking to win the big race for a record eighth time.

The Derby and the Oaks - two of British racing's five flat Classics - are taking place behind closed doors and on the same day for the first time this Saturday at Epsom.

2008 Champion Apprentice jockey Emmet McNamara rode his first winner on the racecourse a year earlier when partnering Prince Livius to victory at Tipperary for trainer Tom Hogan.

In common with so many top Irish jockeys, Emmet cut his teeth on the pony racing circuit where he was the champion rider for two years running. In his final season as a pony rider, he eclipsed Norman Williamson's long-standing record by riding 65 winners.

His most notable wins on the racecourse include when he rode the Aidan O'Brien-trained Port Douglas to victory in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes at the Curragh in 2015. McNamara also won the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes on the O'Brien-trained Douglas Macarthur in 2017

The Epsom Derby traditionally takes place on the first Saturday in June, but it was moved this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it could be held safely.

The Epsom Derby will be televised live on Virgin Media One.