Month: November 2015

Zac Baker enjoys 4th win with Tambura at Plumpton


A great partnership which enjoyed three successes last season was victorious again at Plumpton today when Zac Baker and Godfrey Maundrell’s mare TAMBURA won the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle in dramatic style.

Behind in the early stages of the race and seemingly struggling to keep pace with the field, the mare was urged along by Zac to take second position three out.  Zac drove her to challenge at the penultimate flight but she wandered and was more than a length down at the last only to lead soon after and keep on resolutely to win by half a length.

Well done to Zac who gave the mare an impressive ride.  Standing at 6 foot 1 inch and weighing 10 stone 8 lbs, Zac had to spend 2 hours in the sauna before racing to make the weight.  Many congratulations to all winning connections.

York Racecourse invites applications for charity race 11th June 2016



Make it your New Year’s Resolution to get fit and raise money for the






(Applications by Monday 7 December,
successful applicants notified by Monday 21 December)

The Stewards of The British Horseracing Authority have granted exemptions from the effects of Rule 204 (ii)(6) for this race as it is being run outside the Rules of Racing therefore it will not count for any purpose on the horse’s career record.

Race Conditions

1 mile 1 furlong Flat Race

Maximum field of 12

Minimum weight to be carried 11st 7lbs

For horses 4 years old and upwards, currently in training, who must have run at least 3 times under the recognised Rules of Racing

For horses rated 80 and below on the flat, or 120 under National Hunt rules

Entry Fee – Riders pledge to raise at least £3,000 to be donated to Macmillan

There will be a prize for the rider who raises the most sponsorship money

Mementoes to all jockeys and a prize for the winner

The Charity Race is run outside the ‘Rules of Racing’ and will take place after the last race of the afternoon at approximately 5pm.


12 riders will be chosen and notified by Monday 22 December, with 2 reserves. The places are offered at the discretion of the Racecourse whose aim for the Race is to raise donations for Macmillan Cancer Support. Successful riders are asked to meet the sponsorship targets listed below. The Racecourse reserves the right to withdraw a rider’s place if it feels that the rider is not able to raise the target sponsorship for Macmillan Cancer Support, and the place offered to a reserve rider.

Forfeit Stages for Sponsorship

Riders pledge to raise at least £3,000 sponsorship to be banked with Macmillan Cancer Support or on in the following stages:

A minimum of £1,000 by March 1 2016
A minimum of a further £1,000 by May 1 2016
A minimum of a further £1,000 by June 1 2016

Compulsory Requirements

Minimum age of rider 16 years.

Riders are to wear skullcaps and body protectors as under the Rules of Racing.

All riders that are confirmed to ride in the race must ensure they have participated in a one day training course at either the British Racing School or Northern Racing College. The course is designed to assess a rider’s competence and fitness and prepare them for the experience of riding in a race. Those riders who are required to attend are required to cover the cost of the course themselves (around £180).

The following categories of people are exempt from obligatory attendance at a charity race riders training course:

Current Holders of a jockey’s licence
Former holders of a jockey’s licence (Unless the licence was revoked for medical reasons)
Stable Staff (Who must present written confirmation from their employer that they ride out on a regular basis)
Professional Hunt Staff
Anyone who has completed five or more point to points or Arab races in the last five years
Licensed Trainers (Who must provide evidence that they ride out on a regular basis)
Event riders that have competed at Intermediate level and won at least 30 eventing points.

All riders should be responsible for their own insurance.

On acceptance into the race it is the riders’ responsibility to source a horse suitable for the race and make all necessary arrangements for the day of the race.

All horses must be vaccinated in accordance with Rule 35 of the Rules of Racing.

Each Horse must be accompanied by an up to date Horse Passport.

York Racecourse will have the final decision on all applicants’ eligibility to ride in the Macmillan Charity Race.

Each declared runner will be entitled to six complimentary Owner and Trainers badges for the owner of the horse and four complimentary lunch vouchers for the Owners and Trainers Restaurant. In addition the rider will receive two Owners and Trainers badges.

To download the application form please click on the link below:



Many congratulations to Lorna Brooke, the sole lady amateur from GB riding in the inaugural running of the Today FM Ladies Handicap Chase victorious with 25/1 outsider MOONLONE LANE.

Leading riders Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry were the star names in the 12 runner field which also included GB conditional Lizzie Kelly.  It was the British pair who shared the lead before the home turn but Lizzie Kelly’s mount RIGHTVILLE BOY began to falter when they turned into the straight.  Meanwhile the other joint-favourite ON THE SHANNON was being patiently ridden by Katie Walsh but blundered at the final fence. That allowed MOONLONE LANE to go on and score by 3/4 of a length with RIGHTVILLE BOY a further 14 lengths back in third.

Well done Lorna!

Fairyhouse host inaugural Ladies Chase


Thanks to the initiative of Peter Roe, General Manager of the home of the Irish Grand National, Fairyhouse Racecourse, today sees the inaugural running of a pro/am ladies chase: The Today FM Ladies Handicap Chase.

Ireland’s leading ladies Katie Walsh, Nina Carberry and Rachael Blackmore are amongst the jockeys taking part in the first all-female chase under Rules to be held in Ireland. GB is represented by amateur Lorna Brooke who rides 20/1 shot Monotone Lane and by conditional Lizzie Kelly.

Peter Roe said “We are delighted to have 12 runners declared for the first all-female chase under rules to be run in Ireland. It has exceeded our expectations. We are looking forward to an exciting race with the best lady jockeys from Ireland and Great Britain.”

Good luck ladies!

Joanna Mason caps off eventful year with Liverpool ROR Horse of Year



Huge congratulations to our joint lady Flat Champion Jockey Joanna Mason on many achievements this year, having recovered from breaking her back in 2 places and helped in her return to full fitness by her faithful steed 13-year-old retrained racehorse LIVERPOOL.

Not the best of racehorses, Liverpool was passed on to Jo’s father Ian by her grandfather Mick Easterby in 2010 and together the partnership have enjoyed hunting, showing, side saddle and show jumping.  Their crowning glory came on Monday night when Liverpool was crowned The Jockey Club RoR Horse of the Year at the Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket

Picture credits: AJA

Nina Carberry silences debate on lady jockeys with double at Cheltenham


With the recent suggestion by AP McCoy of the need for lady jockeys to be given a 3 lbs allowance because of their sex’s inferior strength, the argument was put to bed in fine style by Nina Carberry when riding a double at Cheltenham yesterday.

In customary fashion she won the cross country for Edna Bolger in brilliant style with JOSIES ORDERS.  She followed up in the Cheltenham Club Amateur Riders Chase on favourite KNOCK HOUSE for Mick Channon, denying James Slevin by a neck who was aboard OXBRIDGE for Nigel Twiston-Davies.  Meanwhile up North Catherine Walton won the hurdle at Hexham with NATIVE OPTIMIST.

Today produced further evidence of the strength in the ladies changing room.  Here in the UK Gina Andrews won the Mares’ Hurdle for Pam Sly at Wetherby whilst on her return home to Ireland Nina Carberry went on to win the Risk of Thunder Chase in a 16 runner field at Punchestown for Edna Bolger with QUANTITATIVEEASING!

Well done ladies!

Abu Dhabi hosts HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World Series Finales


The finales of both the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship and the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship were held in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 8th November to round off  HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival’s Conference attended by all jockeys who had participated in both series during the year.

IMG_216412226956_10205215529292378_8355028882725564956_n (1)

Great Britain was represented during 2015 by apprentices Jack Gilligan (Kentucky) Rob Hornby (Sandown and Sao Paulo, Brazil), Aaron Jones (Kazan, Russia), Luke Leadbitter (Poland), Rowan Scott (Sacramento, USA), Sophie Killoran (Poland), Sophia Cox (France) and in the ladies series (includes both professionals and amateurs) by Anna Hesketh (Australia), Racheal Kneller (St Moritz), Ann Stokell (Stockholm), and  amateurs Jodie Hughes (Oman), Lorna Brooke (Bahrain and Poland), Becky Smith (Texas), Stefania Gandola (Lingfield), Alex Dunn (Netherlands), Hannah Watson (California) and Page Fuller (Belgium).


With all winning jockeys invited to ride in their respective finales, it was a proud moment to have 3 victorious ladies riding for Great Britain: Ann Stokell, Becky Smith and Page Fuller.  Sadly both Ann and Page finished down the field but Becky had a great run riding Haizoom for Festival patron Sheikh Mansoor, finishing 2nd to Switzerland’s professional Astrid Wullschleger.

IMG_2399 IMG_2380

Many congratulations to Becky on such a successful outcome and huge thanks to Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, for providing so many unique racing experiences for all jockeys worldwide.


Stan Sheppard wins again at Ludlow


A veteran of pony racing, Abbie McCain enjoyed a first ride under Rules in The Robin Morland Memorial Amateur Hurdle, prominent throughout with DANCEINTOTHELIGHT, only to be headed after the last by Stan Sheppard and in form trainer Kerry Lee’s SCALES.  Stan went on to score by 3 lengths to make it 6 wins now this season, just 4 behind leading jockey David Noonan.  Stan is based with Paul Nicholls.



Proud fathers of jockey and trainer (above) – trainer Matt Sheppard and Richard Lee.

Many congratulations to winning connections.

Picture credits: AJA

Gentlemen’s Nottingham finale yields a championship title tie for Simon Walker with rising star Tom Greatrex


With multiple Flat champion amateur Simon Walker clocking up winners in customary fashion, it seemed that the 2015 season might result in what has become a predictable conclusion.  Simon has been crowned Amateur Gentleman Flat Champion Jockey no less than 8 times (2005, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and joint champion in 13) and taken the runner-up position in all other intervening years.  His 3rd win of the 2015 season on 6th October at Catterick therefore seemed to hint at another title in the bag.  However, jumps trainer Warren Greatrex’s son Tom was yet to prove to be a hugely promising jockey addition to the amateur ranks.

Within the last few remaining weeks of the season, 17 year old Tom Greatrex rode an impressive 5 winners, the first being at Royal Windsor on 5th October with DREAMS OF GLORY for Ron Hodges (in a race restricted to riders who had ridden no more than 10 winners and therefore cannot count towards the championship). (see below inside rail white cap)

His return to Windsor on 19th October yielded another win, this time for Harry Dunlop with RUM SWIZZLE (photo finish with Sam Waley-Cohen on George Baker’s LOVING YOUR WORK).  This was followed by a memorable double (below) at Leicester on 26th October when Tom took both divisions of the Fosse Way Amateur Riders’ Handicap with Brendan Powell’s CHAMPAGNE BOB and Richard Price’s UNCLE DERMOT.

Finally on 4th November Tom won the AJA gentlemen’s finale at Nottingham with Gary Moore’s TOP DIKTAT, winning by 3/4 of a length from the all time champion Simon Walker!

Tom, twin brother of Edward Greatrex (who is apprenticed to Andrew Balding and famed for his success this summer aboard Godolphin’s Musaddas), is attached to David Pipe’s yard and only had his first ride as a 16 year old on 26th  January of this year in an AJA sponsored hurdle race at Ludlow.  He is a great example of the usefulness of the amateur route as a training ground and we send him huge congratulations for such a great start to his career.

Congratulations also to champion Simon Walker on his consistent position at the top of the tables over so many years.  In addition Simon has also been crowned Champion Jockey of the Arabian Racing Organisation.  Simon and Tom share this year’s title of Gentleman Amateur Champion Jockey with 4 wins each.