Victory for Epsom-born horse Kingston Hill at Derby would bring double celebration
If Kingston Hill wins the Derby, as predicted on the Amato pub wishing well, Epsom will have a double reason to celebrate - because the three-year-old colt was born here.
Barry Reilly, 57, from Woodcote Stud, in Wilmer Hatch Lane, Epsom, and his wife Fiona delivered Kingston Hill - this year's 8/1 third favourite.
Kingston Hill as a foal in Epsom. Back then he was called Milo.
A mystery tipster scrawled the horse’s name on a wishing well in chalk at the Amato pub this week, and if legend is to be believed then he is set to win.
Mr Reilly, a local at the pub, said: "It adds to the spice of the folklore that it happens. I think it’s fitting that it’s a local horse on there.
"And it’s not like it’s 200 to one, he’s got a really good chance. If he was in the first three it would be absolutely fantastic, but they are going there to win."
The odds are 8/1, according to betting company Ladbrokes.
Mr Reilly remembers the day that Kingston Hill was born and his first months as a young foal, so watching him race will be very special.
Barry Reilly, who delivered the horse with his wife
He said: "It’s amazing. It’s what dreams are made of. For everybody involved with thoroughbreds, any win is a good win but the Derby is a different class. It’s quality."
Mr Reilly said the horse is now named after a hill near the home of its owner, but he was called Milo at birth and that's the name he will cheer on Derby Day.
He said: "I won’t be shouting Kingston Hill, I will be shouting Milo. It’s going to be very, very exciting. It’s going to be a great day out.
"We will have a great time whatever happens as long as he comes home safe."
Kingston Hill's Italian jockey, Andrea Atzeni, said: "The horse has certainly got a great chance. He had a good run in the Guineas, and the step up in trip will suit him."
The colt won the Racing Post Trophy in Doncaster last season, which Mr Reilly said is one of the best Derby trials.
He is the son of champion throughbred racehorse Mastercraftsman and Audacieuse, who was also born at Woodcote Stud.
Pub landlord John Ward with the wishing well
Jodie Elson with Inchira, who is competing in the Oaks on Ladies Day
Proudly, Mr Reilly said: "He was born in the same box as his mother here."
He said Audacieuse's father was Rainbow Quest, whose daughters are renowned for producing top racehorses, and her mother, Sarah Georgina, also lived at their stables.
Kingston Hill's great aunt Danseuse du Soir was a great winner in France.
Bill Eacott, the author of books on the history of racehorse training in Epsom, said: "I am delighted that an Epsom bred horse is in with a great chance of winning the Derby. It is the next best thing to an Epsom trained horse winning.
Barry Reilly, his wife Fiona and Jodie Elson with Inchira
"Straight Deal which was trained at South Hatch, Epsom, won the 1943 Derby, but the race was run at Newmarket due to war-time restrictions.
"April the Fifth was the last Epsom trained horse to win the Epsom Derby, that was in 1932 and it was trained by the actor Tom Walls at the Looe, Reigate Road.
"Kingston Hill is owned by my friend Paul Smith, so I am very hopeful. The horse is named after a hill in Buckinghamshire that Paul cycles up."
Kingston Hill back in 2012
More EPSOM DERBY NEWS:
- Weather: Rain predicted for Derby day
- Preview: Our tipster Paul Darville on what you need to know
- Top tips: Saturday's selections
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