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  Saturday, 2 June, 2001, 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK
Bronze is best at Epsom
The bronze Shergar which is up for grabs at Epsom
The bronze of Shergar which is up for grabs at Epsom
By BBC Sport Online's Steve Cresswell

Twenty years on from his record-breaking Epsom Derby victory, the great racehorse Shergar will be remembered at this year's event.

A bronze sculpture of the horse, who won the 1981 race by 10 lengths but went missing in mysterious circumstances two years later, will be presented to the winning connections.

This will be the fourth year that sculptor Willie Newton has crafted the trophies for the Epsom weekend and he explained the reason for choosing Shergar as the subject.

"It's the 20th anniversary of Shergar's Derby victory and it was rated as one of the best performances since the war," he said.

"He won by 10 lengths, which is something special, but there is also the mystique that surrounds Shergar. In a funny sort of way it also celebrates a great jockey in Walter Swinburn."

Walter Swinburn and Shergar race to Derby victory in 1981
Walter Swinburn and Shergar race to Epsom Derby victory in 1981

The whole project, from conception to completion, has taken 12 weeks.

Newton himself was a National Hunt jockey for nine years before giving up the game in 1987.

"I was in sculpting before racing," he explained.

"I did my art foundation course, but being brought up in rural Somerset the only other thing I knew was riding horses so I gave that a go."

And he got off to the perfect start with a winner in his first race.

But after his racing career ended, he made a return to sculpting.

His 1998 prize depicted a foal, a racehorse and a stallion, all cast in silver, mirroring the idea of the Epsom Derby as a breeding game.

Newton believes the 1999 trophy featuring a group of three horses is arguably one of his best.

Then last year he chose to celebrate the winner of the 1900 Epsom Derby, Diamond Jubilee.

It was a horse owned by the then Prince of Wales and had special meaning with the Queen Mother celebrating her own 100th birthday.

And Newton will be at Epsom to see his work go to a new home.

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