Month: March 2018

Serena Brotherton crowned All-Weather Champion




The recent return of the Beast from the East saw a couple of runners withdrawn from 14 runners declared for today’s finale of our All-Weather season at Lingfield. Nevertheless the race proved to be an excellent and conclusive end to the season, just 11 days before the professionals’ Championships Finals on Good Friday.

With current leading amateur Serena Brotherton on 32 points and Simon Walker on 27, both were well ahead of their nearest rival Harriett Lees (13 points) with Jessica Cooley and Bruce Lynn on 10. However, with the possibility of Simon drawing level with Serena should he have won today, nothing was certain.
Always handy aboard Stuart Williams’ RELEVANT, Serena led from about 4 furlongs out and went clear to win comfortably by 9 lengths from Simon Walker and HALLINGHAM with Hugh Nugent 3rd. This decisive win stamped Serena’s authority on the season with a total of 7 wins and fellow multiple champion Simon Walker claimed the runner-up position with 4 wins to his credit.
Very many congratulations to our new All-Weather Champion and to runner-up Simon Walker, both familiar figures on the podium at the end of every season. What a record they share!
Many congratulations also to all our other winning jockeys this season: Harriett Lees, Jessica Cooley, Bruce Lynn. Abbie Mccain, Alex Ferguson, Jonny Flook, Brodie Hampson, Hannah Knowles, Lisa O’Neill and Richard Patrick. Well done all!
2006/7 Runner-up Simon Walker
2007/8 Champion Simon Walker
2008/9 Champion Simon Walker
2009/10 Champion Serena Brotherton
Runner-up Simon Walker
2010/11 Runner-up Simon Walker
2011/12 Champion Simon Walker
Runner-up Serena Brotherton
2012/13 Champion Simon Walker
Runner-up Serena Brotherton
2013/14 Joint Champion Serena Brotherton
Joint Champion Simon Walker
2014/15 Champion Simon Walker
2015/16 Champion Simon Walker
Runner-up Serena Brotherton
2016/17 Champion Simon Walker
Runner-up Serena Brotherton
2017/18 Champion Serena Brotherton
Runner-up Simon Walker

Sally Randell comes out of retirement, wins and then re-retires!



Our military races are an integral part of our calendar and never seem to disappoint, with extraordinary stories often emerging. Surely nobody can forget in recent years the emotional victories of Brodie Hampson and then of Guy Disney with back-to-back victories in last and this year’s Royal Artillery Gold Cup.


The lead-up to Cheltenham obviously dominated all racing news in the week leading up to it but there are always plenty of stories out there and none more remarkable than the comeback ride out of retirement of Sally Randell which preceded Billy Aprahamian’s magnificent victory later in the afternoon of the Grand Military Gold Cup.


Specifically targeting her regular ride at home, 14 year-year-old RATIFY trained by partner Fergal O’Brien, Sally dusted off her boots and to her joy all went exactly to plan – to win the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Memorial Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle at the Military meeting at Sandown on 9th March!


Leading early on, Sally only had to shake her horse up from 2 out for him to respond to her urgings and take up the lead on the flat and go on to win gamely by over a length.

“That was fantastic” she said. “He’s the only reason I came back to ride. Five years ago was the last time I rode in this race and I won it. My grandad died that morning and I said I just wanted to ride in it one more time and there was nothing I wanted to ride until Ratify came along. I knew if I dropped my reins he could win it for me. There’s not many I’d have been confident enough to ride but I knew if I just sat there he could win it for me. It was worth coming out of retirement, I was screaming at him after the last and it’s just so special. I won my last chase – I thought there’s no way that can happen twice. That’s it, I promise, you won’t see me riding again.”


Many congratulations to Sally and to all winning connections. Sally immediately re-hung up her boots after her victory and now belongs to a very rare club , ending her riding career with winning rides both over hurdles and fences! What an achievement!🏇🏆👏

Course walk on offer for all amateur jockeys prior to Cheltenham rides


By kind arrangement with Cheltenham Racecourse the following has been arranged for any Amateur Jockey riding at Cheltenham Festival:

Former jockey and BHA Coach Carl Llewellyn will be offering a Course Walk at the Cheltenham Festival prior to racing each day.  The initiative mirrors that of the previously established course walks at Aintree.  The majority of amateurs riding at Cheltenham are invariably experienced and many are previous course winners but those jockeys with inexperience of Cheltenham are encouraged to try and attend the walk.

Please meet Carl in the Weighing Room from 11:30 am.

Good luck to all amateur jockeys riding at Cheltenham!

Silk Series 2019 race dates announced


Plans for this summer’s lady jockeys’ pro/am Silk Series have been announced with added fixtures taking the total to 13 races to include races from non-Arena racecourses Goodwood, Hamilton, Musselburgh and York.

Ex-amateur apprentice Megan Nicholls won the 2017 Tufnell Trophy and this year the point-based series offers a total of £150,000 in prize-money, with the £20,000 finale programmed to take place at the St Leger meeting.

Our favourite race from last year has to be Newcastle’s with amateurs monopolising the first three places: triple champion lady rider Carol Bartley won aboard Archipelago for Iain Jardine with Ella McCain 2nd (Sikandar) and Carly Scott 3rd (Royal Reserve).

Good luck ladies!  We look forward to a great summer ahead.

Musselburgh 02-Jun-18 Day 1m 6f £10,000
Chepstow 13-Jul-18 Eve 6f £10,000
Great Yarmouth 18-Jul-18 Eve 6f £10,000
Lingfield Park 21-Jul-18 Eve 5f £10,000
York 27-Jul-18 Eve 1m 1f £15,000
Newcastle 28-Jul-18 Day 1m 2f £11,000
Royal Windsor 30-Jul-18 Eve 6f £10,000
Hamilton Park 04-Aug-18 Eve 6f £12,000
Brighton 09-Aug-18 Day 7f £10,000
Bath 18-Aug-18 Eve 1m 3f £10,000
Goodwood 26-Aug-18 Day tbc £12,000
Wolverhampton 01-Sep-18 Day 1m 1f £10,000
Doncaster 13-Sep-18 Day 6f £20,000

Serena Brotherton enjoys success in Peru!



Whilst most of us have been coping with The Beast from the East and Storm Emma for the past few days and deprived of racing here, its good to see some of our amateur jockeys enjoying race riding in warmer climes!

Our winning most lady champion Serena Brotherton enjoyed representing the UK by becoming our first amateur jockey to ride in South America when riding in Hipodromo de Monterrico, Lima, Peru on 24th February. Her first ride was unplaced but her second ride THUNDERING SAINT  finished 3rd from a wide draw stepping up from 5f to a mile. It was an exciting finish!


Serena is the first UK amateur jockey to ride in South America and only the second English jockey to ride in Peru ever, with Lester Piggott being the first and he also finished third! Well done Serena!

Huge thanks to our friends Jochi Meza and Sara Torre for their fantastic hospitality and kindness in making this extraordinary experience possible.


Antonia Peck 3rd in Houston USA for GB



HH Sheikha Fatima Ladies race prize dist.

Antonia Peck defied the elements and managed to make it to the airport to ride for the UK in Houston Texas on Saturday 3 March in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship. The severe weather disrupted travel plans for many of the Euroopean ladies and another bad weather front in the US itself stopped their lady rider from taking part with flights grounded on the East Coast.

Many congratulations to Antonia who enjoyed a fantastic trip and finished 3rd with Sweden’s Tina Henriksson victorious on UPTOWN SANDY GIRL denying Cindy Klinkenberg in a close finish.

Thanks as always to Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, for these great opportunities for our lady riders which are hugely appreciated by us all.