Month: October 2016

James King continues great season with chase win at Ludlow



Congratulations to 20 year old James King, attached to Neil Mulholland’s yard, who is enjoying a cracking season and already enjoying a battle for the amateur championship title alongside John Dawson who continues to play cat-and-mouse with him at the top of the tables. Currently James is maintaining his lead!
At Ludlow on 20th October James enjoyed another winner to add to his tally aboard FOREVER MY FRIEND for Peter Bowen in the EPDS Racing Partnerships Supporting Racing Welfare Handicap Chase.
This was a really authoritative performance with James jumping FOREVER MY FRIEND off from the first stride to take it up, maintaining his frontrunning position throughout the race and keeping nicely out of trouble, with plenty of carnage left in his wake. Following his success James said “He jumped very well. He’s a talented horse when he’s able to dictate like that and he gets his ground.” Well done James!

Picture credits: AJA

Josh Newman opens account at Exeter


With the jump season now getting into full swing, congratulations to Josh Newman who enjoyed a winner at Exeter toda with THOMAS BLOSSOM in the ROA/Racing Post Amateur Handicap Hurdle, trained by Ali Sam Stronge.
Held up in the early stages, the partnership made headway to lead from 3 out and THOMAS BLOSSOM responded well for Josh to win by a length from HAHNENKAM and Laura Jenkins with ICE KONIG and Bryony Frost a further 2 lengths back in 3rd. Congratulations to winning connections and well done Josh off the mark for the season and his first winner for Ali Stronge!

Jamie Perrett enjoys first career winner at Windsor


Many congratulations to sixth former Jamie Perrett who enjoyed his first winner from only 5 rides when scoring in the last race of the season today at Windsor on Richard Hughes’s FAST PLAY. It was 4 years ago at the same meeting that Richard Hughes rode 7 winners from 8 races and it was great to see him give James such an important day of his own to remember.
BOB’S BOY under Will Pettis set a scorching pace, lit up by first time blinkers and led until the last 75 yards. Meanwhile FAST PLAY (also wearing first time blinkers) was at the rear of the field but ridden patiently by James under top weight. The partnership made steady progress to take 2nd place with hands and heels with a furlong to go, and managed to hold on well inside the final furlong even after veering violently to the far rails under the whip to win by 2 1/4 lengths.
Following his success James said “She has taken me over to the far rail to be fair, but if she can get hampered at the start and take me over to the far side and also win, she has plenty more to give. It probably helped me a little to be off the pace for a lot of the race.
James rides out regularly for Richard Hughes and said “I’m indebted to the Guv’nor for giving me this chance and also the owners. He is so good to ride out for and I’m very lucky.” Well done Jamie!

Irish raider Lisa O’Neill scores double at Stratford!


No sooner had Lisa O’Neill enjoyed her biggest career win to date when winning the Kerry National for Gordon Elliott with WRATH OF TITANS last month at Listowel than on her first visit to Stratford-upon-Avon today she rode a double!
Her first victory came in the toteexacta Selling Hurdle on SHAN DUN NA NGALL who led the small field of four approaching the last and won comfortably for Gordon Elliott. Lisa went on to complete her double in the concluding Lady Riders Handicap Hurdle on PRESENTING JULIO for Liam Lennon, always handy and pinging the last to score by 2 1/2 lengths. Well done Lisa!

Dr Philip Pritchard hands over Presidency of AJA to Bob Davies



The Amateur Jockeys Association 2016 AGM was held on Monday 10th October at which our President since 2010, Dr Philip Pritchard, retired and we welcomed our new President Bob Davies.
Bob is Club Secretary and General Manager at Ludlow Racecourse as well as AJA Company Secretary and Director. Bob was Champion Amateur Jockey before becoming Champion Professional and won the Grand National in 1978 on Lucius.
Huge thanks from us all to Philip who we are happy to say remains as Medical Consultant to the AJA and has been such a stalwart support to us all, not least to our injured jockeys, and we look forward to working with Bob in promoting and protecting amateur jockeys in the future.

Picture credits: AJA

JAMES KING takes lead in Gentlemen’s Jump Championship


Whilst the Flat season is drawing to a close, of course our Jumps Season is warming up and the battle for the gentlemen’s amateur jumps championship is already red hot with John Dawson having commanded an early lead with 4 winners.
However, James King has had John in his sights for a while and forged one ahead today at Exeter when riding against professionals and winning The Great Point Media Investments Novice Hurdle with LOSTOCK HALL for David Dennis.
LOSTOCK HALL had the Willberry Wonder Pony quarter marks in support of the #kickingcancersbutt campaign. The charity was founded by the late Hannah Francis, the 18 year old event rider who died in August just 15 months after being diagnosed with bone cancer.
Well done James on now leading the men’s Jump table with 5 wins! What a great start to the season ahead! Good luck all!

LEWIS STONES enjoys 1st win as an amateur jockey at Catterick


Congratulations to Lewis Stones on a memorable 33/1 win today when victorious at Catterick for Mick Mullineaux on VERY FIRST BLADE.
This was Lewis’s first win as an amateur jockey although his second career win, having won with the same horse at Southwell on the All-Weather back in January of this year when an apprentice in a Hands and Heels. What a great partnership! No wonder Lewis announced in the winner’s enclosure that VERY FIRST BLADE is his favourite horse!
15 went to post and VERY FIRST BLADE travelled well in mid-division before making headway over a furlong out and laying down a challenge inside the final furlong to win by a head from Serena Brotherton and Ruth Carr’s WHIPPHOUND with Simon Walker and Noel Wilson’s LONGROOM a head back in third. What a finish!


Jessica Cooley enjoys 1st career success at Royal Windsor


Congratulations to Jessica Cooley who will never forget the Best Parties Ever Stakes at Windsor last night riding her first winner under Rules there when partnering FRANGARRY for Alan Bailey.
Always handy, FRANGARRY led from just over a furlong from home and responded to Jessica pushing him out to win by 3/4 of a length from Ellie MacKenzie on Dave Evans’s HEAD SPACE with Graham Gilbertson another 3/4 lengths back in 3rd.
Jessica works for Alan Bailey and said “It’s amazing. I can’t get over it. I ride the horse every day. I’ve had one ride for the boss at Hamilton and also four rides in Arab racing. If I can get my weight down I’d like to turn apprentice.”
WELL DONE Jessica!

ARENA RACING COMPANY announce new ladies series for 2017


Exciting news today for our lady Flat jockeys with the announcement from ARC that a new Pro/Am Ladies Series will be launched in 2017 consisting of 9 races worth at least £100,000!  Here is ARC’s Press Release:

  • New race series provides opportunity to champion pioneering female jockeys
  • ARC working to raise awareness and funds for Cancer Research UK
  • During Women’s Sport Week, Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is delighted to announce the launch of an exciting new race series for female jockeys – The Silk Series.This Silk Series is a new initiative designed to provide female jockeys, both professional and amateur, with the opportunity to participate in races hosted at nine Ladies’ Days at ARC racecourses in 2017.The prize fund for nine races making up The Silk Series will be a minimum of £100,000. The leading female jockey at the end of The Silk Series will be awarded ‘The Tufnell Trophy’ in memory of Meriel Tufnell MBE who was Great Britain’s first Female Champion Jockey in 1972, a feat she matched in 1973 along with also becoming European Female Champion Jockey. In addition to her success on the racecourse she also founded the Lady Jockeys’ Association – the first such body in the world.

    The first race will be hosted at Lingfield Park on Friday 12 May 2017 with the final race held on Ladies Day of the St Leger meeting on Thursday 14 September 2017.

    As part of hosting The Silk Series ARC is excited to partner with Cancer Research UK to raise money for the charity’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. From the sale of each ticket sold for ARC’s 2017 Ladies Day series, 75 pence will be donated to the charity.  Cancer Research UK will have a presence at all nine Ladies’ Days fixtures with racegoers having the opportunity to engage with and support the charity.

    The full list of race days is:
    Lingfield Park Friday 12 May
    Chepstow Friday 14 July
    Great Yarmouth Wednesday 19 July
    Newcastle Saturday 29 July
    Brighton Thursday 10 August
    Wolverhampton Friday 18 August
    Bath Saturday 19 August
    Royal Windsor Saturday 26 August
    Doncaster Thursday 14 September

    Races will be run over a variety of distances with horses aged three years and over eligible to take part.  The exact race conditions are still to be agreed with the British Horseracing Authority (“BHA”) as part of the 2017 race programme.

    Jockeys will be awarded points for winning and being placed in each of the nine races. The points system will be as follows:
    1st Place:  20 points
    2nd Place: 16 points
    3rd Place: 12 points
    4th Place    8 points
    5th Place:   4 points
    6th Place:   2 points

    If there is a dead heat for first place the two horses will each receive 18 points (based on splitting the points available for first and second) and the third horse to cross the line will receive 12 points.

    The Tufnell Trophy will be awarded to the jockey who wins the most points across the nine races. The presentation will take place on the afternoon of 14 September at Doncaster Racecourse.

    ARC Group Director of Partnerships, David Leyden Dunbar said: “At ARC we pride ourselves on being creative and we are always seeking new ways to innovate and promote our sport. We believe the creation of The Silk Series will provide an excellent platform for the UK’s very best female jockeys to showcase their talents, while raising funds and awareness for Cancer Research UK.  I’m delighted that our partnership is beginning with a commitment to ensure a donation from every ticket sold to our Ladies Days goes directly to the charity.”

    Executive Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships at Cancer Research UK, Frances Milner said: “We are delighted that ARC has chosen to support Cancer Research UK through The Silk Series. It is a brilliant opportunity to raise awareness of our work and the money raised will help fund vital research into beating cancer.”

    The partnership with Cancer Research UK is particularly poignant given Meriel Tufnell MBE died of cancer aged 53 in October 2002.  Wynne Tufnell, Meriel’s brother said: “Meriel would be delighted to know that her name and memory is to be linked with The Silk Series. She was a pioneer in everything she did and she would welcome the new opportunities this initiative provides for female jockeys. As her family we look forward to presenting the winning female jockey with The Tufnell Trophy next September.”

    Professional Jockeys Association, Executive Director (Racing) Dale Gibson said: “The PJA welcomes this new series of races for female jockeys and in particular we hope it will provide additional opportunities for young female apprentices to showcase their riding abilities.”

    Amateur Jockeys Association of Great Britain (“AJA”) Chief Executive, Sarah Oliver said: “The AJA are most grateful to ARC for their initiative in launching this new Pro-Am Series which we know will be well supported by our members.  This is hugely exciting news for lady jockeys to be given more opportunities to showcase their skills.  In addition, on behalf of the AJA I would like to thank ARC for their generosity in supporting such an important charity.”

    Amateur jockey Hayley Moore said: “This will be a great boost to the opportunities available to female amateur jockeys next year. It is always positive to have a chance to race against professional jockeys for good prize money on racedays with big crowds and The Silk Series promises to deliver all of these things. I very much hope to have the chance to ride in several of the races and even have a go at competing for The Tufnell Trophy.”