Congratulations to Rebecca Heptonstall who enjoyed her 1st career winner tonight when partnering INTISAAB for David O’Meara in the first ladies race of the amateur season, the Betdaq.com AJA Handicap, at Doncaster. What a way to start the Flat season! Held up early on in the 7 furlong sprint, Rebecca asked her horse to quicken in the final furlong to stay on strongly with a well timed run and win by half a length.
PLEASE NOTE new Rule regarding body protectors comes into force on Tuesday 5th May 2015! On and after 5th May, checks will be carried out by racecourse officials. Any rider found to be wearing a Safety Vest without the EN 13158: 2009 will not be allowed to weigh out and will be liable to a fine of £290.
2015 has gone well so far for Great Britain in this wonderful worldwide series. JODIE HUGHES represented GB in the first race of 2015 held at Al Flaij Racecourse, Muscat,Oman on 16th January and loved her first experience of Arabian racing, finishing 2nd.
A British professional lady jockey was invited for the next race in Sportingbet Park, Melbourne, Australia, on 26th January and former amateur ANNA HESKETH rode for GB, finishing 5th.
St Moritz, Switzerland followed on 22nd February with an all-professional cast and former amateur RACHEAL KNELLER represented GB and was unlucky to be just beaten into 2nd place.
Sam Houston Park, Texas,USA then beckoned on 7th March for BECKY SMITH who rode a thrilling race to WIN for Great Britain! WELL DONE BECKY!
Watch the replay here:
LORNA BROOKE then represented GB in Manama,Bahrain on 13th March but sadly her horse reared and dropped her on leaving the stalls. (The horse has since been deemed unsuitable for racing.)
No GB invitation was issued for Morocco or France in April but we are delighted to have received an invitation for our own national race at Lingfield Park on 9th May. Meanwhile, the HH Sheikh Mansoor Darley Awards were presented in Hollywood California on 4th April and ARO’s reigning champion lady Arab jockey STEFANIA GANDOLA was awarded the 2014 jockey’s Darley award. Many congratulations to Stef and we are delighted that she will represent Great Britain at Lingfield. Good luck Stef!
Congratulations to 16-year-old Harry Cobden who enjoyed his first career success under Rules when partnering ULCK DU LIN to a smooth victory at Wincanton in the 2m handicap chase for Paul Nicholls. The trainer said “Harry has been riding out at the yard and got his B licence last Friday which was good timing so he took the ride.”
Harry followed up his victory with a quick dash to ride at the Seavington point-to-point where he also enjoyed a winner for Rachael Green!
Many congratulations to Sam Waley-Cohen who improved on his already incredible Aintree record by winning the Topham this afternoon with his father’s home-bred Radjhani Express.
Sam is now the most successful jockey in modern times to ride over Aintree’s fences. He has now won 6 times over the Grand National fences having won the Topham twice, the Becher Chase and three Fox Hunter Chases as well as being placed in the Grand National. Picking his path through an eventful race with many lose horses, Radjhani Express was never challenged and won by 10 lengths from his nearest rival, Fairy Rath.
The third running of the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Series is looked forward to by The Amateur Jockeys Association who are delighted to announce this year’s calendar. The Series is open to amateur jockeys who are members of the AJA and who at the start of the 2015 Flat Season have ridden no more than 3 winners under the Rules of Racing (both Jump and Flat). This excludes Point-to-Point and Arab racing wins.
As in previous years, The Amateur Jockeys Association will manage the series in consultation with the British Horseracing Authority. Jockey Coaches based at the Northern Racing College near Doncaster will also repeat their invaluable role walking the course with participating jockeys before each race to offer help and advice as well as providing invaluable feedback following weigh in with video support.
This year the series of 8 races culminates in the finale at Carlisle’s meeting on Wednesday 9th September. Points will be awarded to riders with 10 points for the winner, 6 for second, 4 for third and 2 for fourth. Also-rans will be awarded 1 point. In addition to winning connections being presented with Betfair trophies after each race, the winning series jockey will be presented with the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Series Trophy. The series winning slot was shared jointly last year by Phil Dennis and Joanna Walton.
The 8-race 2015 series is scheduled to take place as follows:
Saturday 4th July Nottingham
Wednesday 15th July Catterick Bridge
Wednesday 22nd July Leicester
Wednesday 29th July Redcar
Sunday 9th August Royal Windsor
Monday 10th August Thirsk
Bank Holiday Monday 31st August Ripon
Wednesday 9th September Carlisle
Barry Orr, Head of Public Relations at Betfair, commented today: ‘’This series has been well received and supported by all aspects of the racing community and we are happy to once again give it our backing. Many thanks to Sarah Oliver for her continued hard work in ensuring the 8 races are a success for all involved’’
Dawn Goodfellow, CEO of The Northern Racing College, said “The Northern Racing College are delighted to be supporting this series, which we see as providing an excellent educational opportunity for amateur riders, thus further driving up the already high standards that we enjoy seeing from British amateur riders.”
Sarah Oliver, CEO of the AJA, said “Enquries are already coming in for this series which is eagerly awaited by many of our members. Last year’s races proved as popular as ever and it was excellent to see 45 individual novice flat amateurs enjoy 84 rides between them on 8 different racecourses. In addition, three of the participating jockeys – the series joint-winner Phil Dennis as well as Dylan McDonagh and Megan Nicholls – went on to take out their apprentice licences. Since then Megan has enjoyed her first professional winning ride at Wolverhampton at the end of February for James Eustace.
Once again this series has provided a launching pad for the careers of young amateurs who often struggle to get rides through lack of opportunity. Thanks to the generosity of Betfair’s sponsorship, 2015 sees the series continue with 8 races offering race riding opportunities combined with education and training and for this we are extremely grateful.”