Racing: Kirby advances by Fairmile win

Teenage rider's composure advertises training skills of former jockey Swinburn

Walter Swinburn will be kicking himself with his flip-flops after winning yesterday's John Smith's Cup at York with Fairmile, yet letting the opportunity of maximising the publicity slip away by being on holiday in Spain. Swinburn, a trainer only since 2004, is the public face of one of the best organised, most businesslike stables in Britain and terrestrially-televised, Saturday afternoon successes in £150,000 races are perfect for converting more owners to the cause.

That Fairmile was ridden by the 17-year-old apprentice Adam Kirby would have deftly reminded those deficient of memory or historical knowledge that among Swinburn's many achievements as a jockey, partnering the first of his three Derby winners as a teenager aboard Shergar in 1981 was his most notable moment.

The connection with Swinburn's great days in the saddle remains one of the stable's selling points, although a (now out of date) offer on the Hertfordshire stable's website to refund the full purchase price of any horse bought through them if England won the World Cup will have attracted some with misplaced faith.

Yesterday, though was all about Kirby's cool in his biggest test to date on a horse that, like many from the stable, was heavily backed and plunged from 10-1 in the morning to 6-1 joint-favourite at the off.

Peter Harris, Swinburn's father-in-law, the stable's former licence holder and now the assistant trainer, said: "Fairmile was given a great ride and Adam was wise to come up the outside because in a big field it is quite risky trying to get a run. It's an important success for Walter."

Fairmile, a son of Spectrum, found a tremendous turn of foot to take up the running inside the final furlong. He bounded three-quarters of a length clear of Nick Littmoden's Bravo Maestro, who stayed on strongly to take second. Boo belied his 50-1 starting price by grabbing third, a half-length away, with Gerard Butler's strong-finishing Forgery (8-1) having to settle for fourth.

"I didn't want to go the brave man's route and get stuck on the inner," the teenage jockey said. "I followed Eddie Ahern [on Great Plains] through on the outside and I just wanted to get a clear run at it. It's great to ride a good horse like this. He's gutsy, and turning in I was confident."

Kevin Darley, one of the most senior figures in the weighing room, had even more responsibility in riding the best-backed horse of the day, Linas Selection, in the John Smith's Extra Smooth Silver Cup. Backed from 11-8 to 8-11, Mark Johnston's charge enhanced his growing reputation as one of the season's leading staying three-year-olds with a smooth victory against older horses and has the Great Voltigeur Stakes as a possible target before consideration is given to a tilt at the St Leger, which is this year also to be run at York.

"He's in the Leger but he's just won a Listed handicap," Johnston said. "He's got to step up into Pattern company first."

Kieren Fallon, who demonstrated with a Group-race win for André Fabre at Longchamp on Friday night that his skills have not been dimmed by off-course travails, partners Alexandrova in today's Irish Oaks at the Curragh. Described by the filly's owner, John Magnier, as the man he would name to take Ireland's fifth penalty at the World Cup, Fallon has what many would regard as the racing equivalent of a penalty kick on the odds-on favourite who was so impressive in the Oaks at Epsom. It would be no surprise, though, if Fallon endured the Frank Lampard experience as Scottish Stage, trained by his old team-mate Sir Michael Stoute, is improving fast enough to shade victory.

Another leading rider, Darryll Holland, will be out of action for several weeks after confirmation yesterday that he broke his wrist in a fall at York on Friday. The injury came when Holland tumbled from Blackheath coming on to the track before the Fit As a Butcher's Dog Handicap.


Best shortshot
Pianoforte (Haydock 5.00) has tumbled to an attractive handicap mark and proved it in style at Ripon on Monday.

Best longshot
Shes Minnie (Haydock 3.50) has been second in all of her last three turf races and has not yet gone off the boil.

Life and Style
healthMovember isn't about a moustache trend, it saves lives
Life and Style
food + drinkFrom Mediterranean Tomato Tart to Raw Caramel Peanut Pie
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people
indybest13 best grooming essentials
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mobile Developer (.NET / C# / Jason / Jquery / SOA)

£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities