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Godwin rides out for final time

08 December 2015

It was the end of an era in Newmarket last month when former stable lad of the year Dave Goodwin rode out for the final time after nearly 50 years in the sport.

Goodwin, from Ayrshire, is best known for leading up two Derby winners during his time in headquarters, where he first arrived in 1978 and joined Sir Michael Stoute.

After riding the legendary Shergar as a two-year-old at Freemason Lodge, Goodwin moved up the hill to join Sir Henry Cecil, where he looked after 1985 Epsom hero Slip Anchor. Eight years later Goodwin was back in the hallowed winner’s circle with Commander In Chief.

Since leaving Warren Place a few years later, Goodwin has ridden out for Jeremy Noseda,who was among those to nominate him when he was voted joint-winner of the stable lad of the year gong at the HWPA Derby awards in 2002.

Reflecting on his retirement,Goodwin says: “I'm 65 next May and still feel good riding out, but of all the lads I used to know riding out there’s only one left and that’s Geoff Thompson at Stoute’s.

“Jeremy Noseda has been very good to me in recent years and even allowed me back to ride out after I’d had a serious road accident a few years ago.

I've been doing some shifts in the afternoons at the National Horseracing Museum in their practical gallery and will probably keep that going,as well as riding my bike,which I much prefer to riding horses if I'm honest.”

Goodwin remembers the Derby victories as if they were yesterday. “Slip Anchor was no surprise as we went there expecting to win, that’s how good he was. With Commander In Chief, it was a shame Pat Eddery couldn't have ridden him but he was tied to Ten by. My horse was peaking at just the right time.”Goodwin has seen many changes in racing since he entered the sport in 1966.

“When I first started it was 98 per cent blokes and it was a novelty when you had a girl in the yard,” he says. “The lads that used to be in racing don’t really exist any more – it’s the early starts and hard work. But I've no regrets, I've had a great time.”

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