Sport

Omar Walker wants a fresh start overseas

Plans to ply his trade in Canada but open to ride in local Derby

BY RUDDY ALLEN Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, April 15, 2014    

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FOUR-time champion jockey Omar Walker will depart the island on April 21 for Canada to begin a new chapter in his professional career.

Walker said that the lack of support locally, especially from trainers, forced his decision to take up the reins overseas.

"I just want to give Caymanas Park a break. I want to ride at a track where I am appreciated for my hard work. I just want a fresh start. I think that I deserve more than what I am getting here.

"Over the years, I have been putting out the hard work and only a few trainers are supporting me. I am not getting the support that I should get and so I just feel like I need break," an emotional Walker told the Complete Racing Guide over last weekend.

The 31-year-old Walker said that he was invited to ride in Canada by Durrant Dunn.

"A friend of mine was talking to the chief executive officer for a particular track, Mr Durrant Dunn, about me wanting to come and ride over there. And one day Dunn called me and said that if I was still interested in riding in Canada, and I told him yes. So I was given an invitation to go there," he explained.

Walker, who started riding at Caymanas Park in 2009, has won four championships but won his first Classic race when he rode the Lorne Kirlew-trained Talented Tony K to victory in the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday last.

"It feels so good to win my first Classic race. A lot of people were saying that I would never win a Classic race, but you can't win a Classic race if you are not getting the right horses to ride. On this occasion I got the horse and I rode him to victory and I am so happy with that win," the 31-year-old said.

He said that if given the opportunity, he would consider coming back for the Derby.

"It is everybody's dream to win the Derby, and it is no different with me. If the owner wants me to come back and ride Talented Tony K in the Derby, I would love to do that, but right now my main focus is getting a fresh start and that is overseas," he noted.

Walker, who left Bridgeport High School and came straight into racing, said that he has no regrets in choosing a profession in the racing industry.

"I have no regrets, everyone has been good to me when I started my career and even now some are still by my side. But I give special thanks to trainers Gary Subratie, Fitzgerald Richards, and Lorne Kirlew" he said.

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