THIS weekend a rider from Bargoed will be heading to Epsom Downs as the only Welsh jockey to be competing in the world’s greatest flat race.
David Probert, 25, had been race riding since 2008, but started riding as a teenager in Bargoed.
“I always had horses and raced ponies. I got into racing that way,” he said.
At 16-years-old, the keen rider joined the British Racing School. This will be his first time riding in the prestigious Derby with horse, Impulsive Moment and he will be riding for Andrew Balding.
He said: “His form going into the race is decent. I’m hoping I can run a good race.”
The one mile, four furlongs and 10 yard flat race is Britain’s richest horse race and considered the greatest of the country’s five Classics.
Mr Probert, who is now based in Hungerford, insisted his training would be like any other week in the run-up to this weekend. He said: “It’s no different this week. I just ride out in the mornings. I’m just taking one day at a time and will ride it like any other race.”
The rider’s family will be heading from South Wales to Surrey to support him on the weekend. He said: “It should be a big day. It’s all built up to this.
“The Derby is the biggest race in the world. Everyone wants to win it. It’s unbelievable to be able to ride it.”
David is understood to be the only Welsh jockey riding in the Derby this weekend, although final jockey confirmations are not until 48 hours prior to the race day. He will also be racing at the Royal Ascot later this month.
He said: “It’s great going from growing up in small town in Wales to where I am now. It’s a big achievement. I’m trying not to get too overwhelmed. It took a lot of hard work and determination.”