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British Champion flat jockey Oisín Murphy will compete at Hickstead this month and is aiming for the British Speed Derby.
The Kerryman made his Hickstead debut last year when finishing runner-up in the Hy Equestrian British 1.10m Amateur Championship.
This summer he is aiming to win the British Speed Derby, the feature class on the Saturday of the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting (23-26 June).
The Speed Derby includes many of Hickstead’s iconic fences, including the Devil’s Dyke and the Irish Bank. The Speed Derby sees riders gallop round the Longines International Arena at top speed, where the fastest time wins. There is a 4 second time fault, however, for any fences knocked down.
Another Irish jockey, Robbie Power previously competed at Hickstead, winning a class in 2013 with his sister Esib’s former event horse Doonaveeragh O One. The Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National winner was a successful showjumper in his younger days, winning team gold at the Junior Europeans.
Former National Hunt jockey Paul Carberry is also hoping to qualify for the Speed Derby. The Aintree Grand National winner has been competing in showjumping classes since his retirement from the track in 2016.
The final line-up for the British Speed Derby will be decided by the Speed Derby qualifier, which takes place on the Thursday morning of the show.
The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting takes places from 23-26 June.