The jockeys’ weighing room at Yarmouth this afternoon may resound to the sound of the Italian language today when top Italian jockey Mirco Demuro joins apprentice Antico Murgia at the Norfolk track. And when the two get together with Frankie Dettori it’ll prove hard for the home jocks to get a word in.
Demuro has ridden in England before, first as a teenager in 1997, when he was at Glorious Goodwood, on Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Silken Flower. That was his breakthrough year at home, when as well as being the first teenager to become champion jockey there, he was the first jockey to ride over 200 winners since Gianfranco Dettori in 1985.
More recently, Demuro has taken part three times in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup. Last year he rode the Clive Cox trained Averroes to success in the competition, just his second victory in Britain.
Now, at the age of 33, Demuro wants to try his hand where he sees the world’s best horses taking part in the world’s best races. He says, “I have won Group 1 races in many places but my dream is to ride a Group 1 winner in Britain. I have wanted to come here for a long time and my good friend Frankie Dettori has been telling me to come but I haven’t been able to until now. This is where you find the best horses and the best races and I want to be riding here. This is my last chance. I’m getting old!”
Demuro will be based in Newmarket, and Mark Johnston, Marco Botti and Luca Cumani have all pledged to use his services, though they do not do so for his two rides today. He’ll be hoping the rain holds off before racing. Although he has been there before to watch the racing, he’ll be walking the track beforehand, as he hasn’t ridden there previously.