Poulton jockey Maurice McCarthy celebrates greatest success in Newmarket Town Plate

Poulton jockey Maurice McCarthy (right), here meeting the Prince of Wales at The Prince's Countryside Fund Charity Race at Ascot,  has gone on to greater success this year
Poulton jockey Maurice McCarthy (right), here meeting the Prince of Wales at The Prince's Countryside Fund Charity Race at Ascot, has gone on to greater success this year
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Fylde coast jockey Maurice McCarthy is celebrating the greatest success of his career.

Fylde coast jockey Maurice McCarthy is celebrating the greatest success of his career.

McCarthy, from Poulton, was a record-breaking winner of the historic Newmarket Town Plate on Saturday.

Riding his own horse Notwhatiam, Maurice won the 350th Town Plate in a record time and by an unprecedented margin.

He finished the three mile, six furlong course an astonishing 86 lengths clear, smashing the previous record for this amateurs-only event by 26 seconds.

The race at Newmarket’s Round Course was introduced in 1666 by King Charles II, who was the first winner and decreed that it should be run annually until the end of time.

McCarthy has concentrated on charity races for the past 15 years, though he made an exception to fulfil a lifelong ambition to experience the Town Plate.

A delighted Maurice, who has never ridden professionally, told The Gazette: “I’m so emotional. This was one of my ambitions and it is my best ever win. It’s unbelievable.

“I had to diet and lost 18lb in two days. I felt ill on the day of the race but I made the weight and I got through it. If I hadn’t eased up at the end I would have won in an even faster time.

“It is the longest flat race in England and the only one you start in one county (Cambridgeshire) and finish in another (Suffolk).

“As the winner you receive a solid silver plate in a glass box but I’m ecstatic just to win, especially riding my own horse.”

But there is no time to bask in the glory as Maurice returns to charity racing this weekend as he closes in on £200,000 raised for various causes.

He again crosses the Irish Sea for the second of three races which make up the Corinthian Challenge in aid of the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund.

Having contested the opening race at The Curragh, County Kildare, last month, Maurice is looking forward to the second this Saturday at Cork, where he will be the only English rider.