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'Derek's Amazing' - Praise For Sligo Jockey After Cheltenham Winner

'Derek's Amazing' - Praise For Sligo Jockey After Cheltenham Winner
By PJ Browne Updated

Sligo native Derek Fox became the first Irish jockey to ride a winner at the 2022 Cheltenham festival on Tuesday.

Fox rode Corach Rambler to victory in the Ultima Handicap Chase with what Ruby Walsh described as "a brilliantly executed ride".

"I'd like to pay tribute to Derek Fox," Corach Rambler assistant trainer Peter Scudamore told ITV.

"He has an innate sense of understanding all horses, and he gets him. It's come off today."

Trainer Lucinda Russell explained that though her horse won, the race had not gone completely to plan.

"I always say that Corach is a little bit quirky in his own way, just like Scu," she said

"They two of them go off together. I'm very exact about what work I want them to do. They're to do two canters, and then I see Corach and Scu off on the other side of the field, not doing what I've said at all.

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"He wasn't meant to be ridden with such patience [today] - we wanted him in midfield. With the false starts, he ended up at the back, and I turned to one of the owners and said, 'It's OK, we'll get a vintage Derek Fox hold up ride'. And so we did.

"Derek's amazing. He's very laid back and sensible through a race. It didn't bother him that he was further back than he wanted to be."

Corach Rambler wins Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham

Ruby Walsh added: "I think it was a great ride from Derek Fox. As we also heard, it wasn't the plan. He was supposed to be halfway but he ended up a long way back. There are exactly 19 horses ahead of him as he turns at the top of the hill. It's Derek Fox's decision-making from here on that really impresses me. He's not going for the safe route. He's saving ground, thinking in, not out. You have to think in at Cheltenham because so many people go out."

Featured image: 15 March 2022; Corach Rambler, with Derek Fox up, jumps the last duing the second circuit of the course in the Ultima Handicap Chase on day one of the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in Cheltenham, England. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

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See Also: 'Barry Geraghty's Kids All Rode This Horse When It Was Three-Years-Old'

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