Apprenticed to Frenchie Nicholson for whom he rode his first winner in 1978, Walter Swinburn demonstrated as a teenager that he had the character and class to succeed in the "sport of kings". His victory on the Aga Khan's Shergar in the 1981 Derby brought him huge accolades, and five years later he set Epsom alight again with his win on Shahrastani. But success was not without its pitfalls, and in his autobiography Swinburn is quick to explain the reasons behind his controversial replacement by Frankie Dettori on Lammtarra after he had guided her to victory in another extraordinary Derby win in 1995. There were also the terrible injuries he sustained following a fall during a race in Hong Kong, with many observers predicting that he would never race again. Yet he proved his detractors wrong. Swinburn's motivational character has also seen him raising large sums for charity, such as his fund-raising walk from Cork to Dublin.
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