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Newmarket shocked by death of Derby winning lad Michael Curran

Newmarket's racing community has been shocked by news of the death of Derby-winning lad Michael Curran.

Police were called to premises in Exning's Church Lane yesterday at around 3.20pm after reports that a body had been found in stables.

Officers were satisfied there were no suspicious circumstances and the Suffolk coroner has been informed.

Michael Curran with Derby winner Golden Horn
Michael Curran with Derby winner Golden Horn

Mr Curran, originally from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders, had worked for Newmarket trainer John Gosden for around nine years leaving a couple of years ago. While based at the Clarehaven yard he had looked after champion miler, Kingman, the winner of four Group 1 races in 2014, and, the following year, Golden Horn winner of the Derby and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

In 2014, he was named the winner of the Pride of Racing stable staff award. Backing his nomination for the prize, Mr Gosden said; "He really cares for his horses and is a fabulous rider. He is the most popular chap in the stables."

Mr Curran came into racing after getting involved in Borders commons riding and festivals and initially worked for Harry Bell at Hawick.

He later had a spell with Barry Hills at Manton and although a talented horseman his weight put pay to a serious riding career. Later he was employed by his friend, and jockey, Darryll Holland as a driver and then spent an initial period with Gosden when he was based at Stanley House Stables.

Jockey Rab Havlin was among those paying tribute to his former colleague. "It's terrible news," he said. "Michael was a great horseman and he loved his horses to bits, he was one of those type of guys. He could be the life and soul of the party but a deep and quiet man as well. Whenever I met him in the street he was always asking how things were going. He was a lovely man."

Racing Welfare's director of welfare Simone Sear said the organisation was "deeply saddened" to hear of Mr Curran's death. "Our thoughts are very much with Michael's friends and family at this incredibly sad time," she said.

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