Month: June 2017



The Amateur Jockeys Association welcome the return of the popular Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Series for the fifth consecutive year. The Series is open to amateur jockeys who are members of the AJA and who at the start of the 2017 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.

The Amateur Jockeys Association manage the series in consultation with the British Horseracing Authority. In addition Tim Reed, Jockey Coach, will be in attendance to walk the course with all participating jockeys before each race and to offer help and advice with a de-brief afterwards.

Points are awarded to riders with 10 points for the winner, 6 for second, 4 for third and 2 for fourth. Also-rans are awarded 1 point. In addition to winning connections being presented with Betfair trophies after each race, the winning series jockey is presented with the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Series Trophy. Races are scheduled to take place as follows:

3rd July Wolverhampton
19th July Catterick Bridge
26th July Leicester
2nd August Redcar
15th August Thirsk
18th August Nottingham
23rd August Carlisle
28th August Ripon

Harry Phillips of Betfair commented today “We are proud to once again be sponsoring the Betfair Amateur series for a fifth consecutive year. Over the past five years the programme has gone from strength to strength and we’re delighted to continue our support for amateur jockeys.”

Tim Reed, Jockey Coach, said “Betfair are great supporters in bringing on our future champions. In the last four years this series has introduced the likes of Hollie Doyle, Lewis Edmunds, Philip Dennis and Megan Nicholls as top Apprentices, Stan Shepherd and Harry Bannister as top Conditionals and top Amateurs in James King, Page Fuller, Bryony Frost and Tom Greatrex. It is also a natural stepping stone for pony race riding graduates to get a “leg up” on their journey as future jockeys. Well done to all involved in this great series.”

Sarah Oliver of the AJA said “The opportunities that this series offers to inexperienced jockeys is absolutely invaluable in providing them with race riding opportunities which they would otherwise be denied. Betfair’s loyal and generous support at this grass roots level is hugely appreciated by trainers and jockeys alike and we are proud to be able to offer what has now become an established training series for the fifth consecutive year.”

James King and Page Fuller crowned jump champions at Stratford


IMG_9459Many thanks to Ilona Barnett and all at Stratford Racecourse for their kind generosity in allowing us once again to round off the amateur jumps season with our Championship presentations at their Hunterchase meeting on Friday night, with the fixture dedicated exclusively for the first time to hunter chasers and pointer-to-pointers.

A huge round of applause to our 2016/17 Gentleman Amateur NH Champion Jockey JAMES KING and to our 2016/17 Lady Amateur NH Champion Jockey PAGE FULLER.  Many congratulations also to our valiant runners up SAM DAVIES-THOMAS and EMMA TODD. IMG_9456It has been an extraordinary season culminating in a very tense final fortnight, James clinging onto his long time lead by an eventual single win right up until the conclusion of last night’s card. Winners eluded both James and Sam in their final appearances of the season but were enjoyed by MAX KENDRICK (Subaru Restricted Series Final), Ireland’s DAVID O’BRIEN (Foxdenton Gins Open Hunterchase), ALEX EDWARDS (John Corbet Cup), CLAIRE HARDWICK (Skinner’s Ladies Open Championship Final), JOHN DAWSON (Pertemps Foxhunters Champion Hunterchase), SHANE ROCHE (Sheldon Bosley Knight Handicap Hunterchase) and DARREN EDWARDS (P2P Bumper).

As is customary at this time of year, many  of our most successful amateurs will be turning conditional and we wish them all the very best of luck in their future professional careers, proving once again the usefulness of the amateur route as a jockey training ground alongside point-to-pointing. A cautionary reminder to them all that anyone remaining conditional upon either reaching the age of 26 or a total of 26 winners as a professional can never revert back to amateur status as current BHA rules stand.

We also wish luck to James whilst he considers his future career options, and to Page who has decided to remain amateur for the immediate future and focus on retaining her championship title.

Many congratulations to all amateurs who enjoyed riding a winner in the 2016/17 season!Untitled 21

Photo credits: AJA