'I couldn't watch the Derby - the plan was that I'd ride Ambiente Friendly , so it was a bit of a shock'

Callum Shepherd tells Mary-Jo Jackson about the ups and downs of a testing year

Callum Shepherd: the Royal Ascot-winning rider has had a rollercoaster season
Callum Shepherd: the Royal Ascot-winning rider has had a rollercoaster seasonCredit: Alan Crowhurst

It has been a tumultuous year for Callum Shepherd. It’s no wonder, then, that the celebrations that followed his first Royal Ascot win on Isle Of Jura last month had real feeling behind them.

“You probably saw what it meant,” says Shepherd, speaking of the jubilant post-race scenes after the 16-1 shot had won the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes, when his usual reticence melted into a flow of emotion as he stood in his irons and roared his way across the winning line.  

“A first Royal Ascot winner in any case is a big milestone, but the timing was brilliant. The horse performed just when I needed a lift.”

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