Hartlepool native Tony Hamilton started to ride at the age of 12 and was soon bitten by the racing bug. After a spell at a racing college, he became apprenticed to Thirsk trainer David Nicholls in 1999.
He moved on to ride for Richard Fahey in 2004 and became an integral part of the Malton handler’s yard as second jockey behind dual champion Paul Hanagan.
With Hanagan becoming retained rider to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum in 2012, Hamilton was given several high-profile mounts, winning the Lincoln Handicap on Brae Hill and recording a first Group success in the Chester Vase on Mickdaam.
Hamilton further advertised his growing stature as a jockey with a good second on Glen’s Diamond in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, the first Long Distance contest in the QIPCO British Champions Series, at York in May 2012.
A year later he went one better on the same horse in the same race, taking the QIPCO Yorkshire Cup by a nose from the French-trained Top Trip to seal his first QIPCO British Champions Series victory.