Category: Jockey News

Lisa O’Neill takes £5,000 worth of diamonds home to Ireland



Many congratulations to Ireland’s victorious amateur Lisa O’Neill who joined 9 other lady jockeys at the post at Cartmel Racecourse today for the Banks Lyon Jewellers Lady Riders’ Hurdle, which played an important part of their Cumbria Crystal Cup Day.


Lisa is a jockey on fire, having recently won when representing Ireland in the Netherlands in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (pictured below)


The generous sponsorship of Lancaster-based Banks Lyon Jewellers at Cartmel included diamonds for the winning lady jockey as well as £10,000 prize money.  As a consequence the race attracted ladies from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.  Ultimately it was the hold up tactics of Lisa on Gordon Elliott’s TEMPO MAC that paid dividends, allowing the horse to make smooth headway tracking the leaders from 2 out to score comfortably once they turned into the final straight, winning by 8 lengths.

The winning jockey’s prize is a £5,000 diamond drop pendant set in 18 ct white gold and displaying a pair of pear cut diamonds top and tailing 5 oval cut diamonds.  Managing Director Rodney Banks Lyon said “We are naturally very pleased to be able to sponsor this race, as it is a fantastic opportunity for female jockeys in a traditionally male-dominated sport, as well as an excellent draw to the area.”


Huge thanks to both Cartmel Racecourse and to Banks Lyon for providing such a great prize to encourage and support lady jump jockeys from near and far and to add so much sparkle literally to a great day’s racing.


Matt Ennis enjoys 1st Flat winner in BETFAIR at Catterick



Many congratulations to Matt Ennis on his first flat winner (from only 6 rides) at Catterick this afternoon aboard Jim Goldie’s popular 13 year old veteran DHAULAR DHAR, who was winning for the 13th time in his distinguished career.  18-year-old  Matt is attached to Richard Fahey’s having been with Graeme McPherson for whom he rode his first jump winner at Southwell last December .

With 3 non-runners, a total of 8 novice amateur jockeys went to post with Dhualar Dhar taking a keen hold from early on.  Matt held him up at the back of the field and made steady headway up the inner from about 3 furlongs out to take the lead inside the final furlong and win stylishly by a couple of lengths.


Tom Greatrex was a gallant second with FERNGROVE and Joe Wright, fresh from winning a handicap hurdle at Hexham on MINELLA HERO last month and then 5th in the opening Betfair race of the season at Nottingham, was 3rd with the grey PERTUIS.

“That was unreal” said Matt.  “He gave me some spin and I was just conscious not to hit the front too soon.”   The series now moves on to Leicester next Wednesday.  Well done Matt!


Poppy Bridgwater enjoys 1st career win with Dorothy Laird at Beverley



Beverley Racecourse provided Poppy Bridgwater with a day she will never forget when winning her first race under Rules in the Dorothy Laird aboard ENGAI trained by her father David.

Tracking the leaders in the early stages of the race, the pair made headway from 2 furlongs out to stay on well and lead inside the final furlong.  Becky Heptonstall and SCRUTINY were just over a length away in 2nd with previous Dorothy Laird winners carrying top weight Serena Brotherton and CITY GROUND a similar distance back in 3rd.  Many congratulations to winning connections!


Ross Birkett wins the AJA hurdle in Les Landes, Jersey



Thanks to the generous joint sponsorship of Dandy Properties Ltd and Crespel Properties, Jersey Raceclub programmed an additional race to their usual 5 race card on Sunday 12th July at Les Landes, that being the AJA Handicap for amateur riders.  Fortunately the rain that greeted racegoers soon cleared to give a sunny afternoon with the moisture taking the sting out of the ground.










Five runners went to post representing 3 nations: France (Jean Philippe Boisgontier and Melissa Boisgontier), Jersey (Frank Fairchild) and the UK (Phillip Collington and Ross Birkett).










Ross rode in a hurdle race earlier in the afternoon to familiarise himself with the racecourse – the first time he had taken part in a jumps race for 6 years!









It paid dividends in arguably the best finish of the day which saw victory for Ross aboard Neil Mulholland’s MRS BURBIDGE.  Many thanks to our generous sponsors for this unique opportunity for amateurs to race in the Channel Isles and well done to winning connections.









Earlier in the afternoon Freddie Tett enjoyed a winner against professionals when partnering outsider LUCIFERS SHADOW for Mrs Gilbert.








Having been instrumental in organising the sponsorship of the AJA race but without a ride, this result felt well deserved.  Apart from winning rides in France this summer, Freddie has also kept himself busy riding in Jersey and currently lies 4th in the Channel Isles Champion Jockey tables with 4 wins from 14 rides.









Jersey is a unique place for jockeys to gain race riding experience and is the only place within the British Isles where amateur jockeys can ride against professionals not only over hurdles but also on the Flat.  There is also above average prize money and we hope that this year’s AJA race can be built upon with strong support from both France and the UK and become a permanent fixture within the amateur calendar.

You can watch a video of the AJA race here:

Clare Robinson has 1st career win at Newbury with DARK AMBER for Brendan Powell



Congratulations to Clare Robinson on enjoying her first career winning ride at Newbury this evening in the Al Bastic Equiworld Handicap when partnering DARK AMBER for her trainer Brendan Powell.


With ambitions of becoming an apprentice, Clare was having only her 3rd ride on 5 year old DARK AMBER who started 9-2 favourite.  She settled the mare midfield and made progress 3 furlongs from home before staying on comfortably.

19 year old Clare, best friends with ex-amateur trainer’s daughter Jenny Powell, said “My parents were involved in racing and I’ve done showjumping and eventing and am just taking it to another level.”  Trainer Brendan Powell added “Clare has been with me for a year and a half and rides Dark Amber every morning – its great for the team.  And its great to get a winner here even if its a low grade race.”


Well done Clare, seen here receiving a winning pat on the back from fellow jockey Edward Sibbick after passing the winning post.

Hugo Hunt enjoys winning Betfair’s 1st Novice Series of 2015 at Nottingham



Many congratulations to Andrew Balding’s stable amateur Hugo Hunt who led virtually from pillar to post at Nottingham last night in the first race of the Betfair Novice Amateur Riders series of 2015.  Riding Passover who was wearing a hood for the first time he allowed his horse to stride out and travelled well throughout, drawing clear to win by over 4 lengths.

Huge is no stranger to the big stage having completed the Ledbury Hunt’s Golden Button earlier this year.  This legendary 3 mile cross country race is styled on an original steeplechase and is only for the brave who have their skills in the saddle put severely to the test. Huge excelled by finishing 8th overall and was the first rider to complete aged under 21, securing himself a Golden Button.


The next race in this 8-race series for Novice Riders takes place at Catterick on 15th July.

Budding jockey Victoria Pendleton enjoys safe debut at Newbury



Congratulations to Olympian cyclist Victoria Pendleton on safely completing her debut on the racecourse by riding in Newbury’s charity race last night.  Having only started riding in April this year with an ambition to ride in Cheltenham’s Foxhunter 2016, Victoria applies for her amateur jockey’s licence in August.  Under the guidance of Lawney Hill with support from Yogi Breisner, we wish her the best of luck.


Charlie Deutsch rides for GB in Norway



Although GB left Fegentri at the end of 2014, Norway were short on gentlemen jockeys for their Fegentri race on 25th June at Ovrevoll and invited the AJA to send along a British representative.  Charlie Deutsch (colours: pink, blue stars) was pleased to accept and had a great trip, finishing 3rd.  Well done Charlie!  Many thanks to Helene Maxwell-Hauge, President of NOARK (Norwegian Club of Amateur Riders) for her club’s kind hospitality which was greatly appreciated.

Bryony Frost wins the ladies at Newton Abbot


Congratulations to Bryony Frost who emerged victorious from a packed field of 16 runners and riders this evening in the lady amateur handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot.  Riding her trainer father’s horse ARCHIE RICE prominently throughout and temporarily losing the pole position 2 out, she regained the lead before the last to stay on well and win by 4 1/2 lengths from Natalie Parker on the Philip Hobbs trained QUADRILLER.

Thankfully Pippa Glanville was unhurt when her saddle slipped after she was hampered on the bend before the 6th flight which gave her no chance of staying in the plate.

Writer Rachel Wilson enjoys red letter day with Red Invader



Congratulations to Rachel Wilson who enjoyed success at Leicester this evening riding in the colours of her husband, Charlie, former Editor of The Times and owner of  Red Invader.  The partnership was outpaced early on but came with a perfectly timed run from last to first and denied Katie Margarson winning by a length:


Red Invader, successful in his previous run over the same trip at Chelmsford 5 days ago, was given a very patient ride with Rachel content to let the other runners bowl along in front.  This allowed her horse to pick them off one by one to take the lead in the final furlong.


Rachel said “I’ve ridden him so many times but I got it right this time, I’m delighted.  I walked the course and I knew I didn’t want to be coming to them going up that hill. I was able to be patient, which usually I’m not.”

Trainer Paul d’Arcy said “5 furlongs is ideal for Red Invader and it has all gone to plan. Rachel gave him a great ride. We discussed it and I thought they would go very quick. He will go where there is another amateur race for him, which is at Ayr.”  A writer by profession who caught the eye of Gok Wan at Royal Ascot last week, what great material for Rachel to hone her creative skills whilst she looks forward to their next run in Scotland!