Month: June 2018

Becky Smith enjoys Russian win at Hexham


The opener at Hexham on Sunday 24 June saw reigning ladies NH champion runner-up Becky Smith enjoy her first win of the new season over obstacles when she partnered Micky Hammond’s RUSSIAN ROYALE to victory over hurdles.

Always prominent, Becky urged her horse into the lead before the last and the partnership stayed on strongly to win by 1 3/4 lengths.

Becky is in fine form having already ridden 2 winners on the Flat this season to give her pole position for the championship, and this is her second visit to the winner’s enclosure within a week.  Well done Becks!

Serena Brotherton wins by a head at Ayr


The AM Media Group Handicap opened the evening card at Ayr on Friday 22nd June with 14 going to post for this race over 1m 2f.

Having got off the mark for the season less than 24 hours before at Ripon, Serena Brotherton enjoyed another success after biding her time aboard THORNTOUN CARE for Iain Jardine and making steady headway from 2f out to lead inside the final furlong.

Despite a determined challenge from Carol Bartley aboard last year’s winner HAYMARKET, the partnership held on by a head in a photo finish, with Catherine Walton a short head third.

Many congratulations Serena and winning connections!🏆👍🍾👌🎉


Serena Brotherton enjoys 5th Northern Derby success


An important highlight of the ladies season is their Northern Derby held at Ripon and on 21st June Serena Brotherton enjoyed her fifth victory in this race aboard Mick Easterby’s 12-year-old ITLAAQ who was winning for the first time in 2 years!
Benefiting from first-time blinkers and a tongue-tie, Serena tucked ITLAAQ in behind the leaders and sent him on 3 furlongs from home to stay on well and win by just over a length from TRAUTMANN and Joanna Mason.
Following the race, Serena said “He’s been a star and I’ve been lucky enough to be the person to ride him. He travelled brilliantly and I thought we were getting there a bit soon, but it worked out well. It’s a lovely race and one that’s great for amateur racing – long may it continue!” Congratulations Serena! 🏆👏👌

Emma Todd enjoys hurdle success at Uttoxeter with Martha’s Benefit


Emma Todd enjoyed a golden spell towards the end of last season with wins for her trainer Mark Walfordaboard OLIVER’S GOLD in a chase at Southwell on 15th May (below), over hurdles on MR SNOOZY (by a neck) at Hexham on 22nd May and over hurdles with BENTONS LAD on 23rd May!

Before then Emma started the Flat winning our first race of the season at Doncaster with CAPE HIDEAWAY by a neck.

But it was back over hurdles for Emma’s latest win at Uttoxeter on 20th June with MARTHA’S BENEFIT,the mare having her first run for Mark Walford.

Following the race Emma said “It was quite an open race and Martha’s Benefit has run better than we expected. I made sure I got a good start and she jumped and travelled really well.”

Well done Emma and all winning connections!🏆👏👍👌🎉

Becky Smith wins at Ayr and leads ladies


As a prelude to Royal Ascot, 8 of our lady jockeys headed to Ayr on Monday 18 June for a 6f sprint.

Congratulations to Becky Smith on her second victory of the Flat season that day with a decisive victory aboard Becky Bastiman’s BERLIOS. This was a welcome victory for the horse being his first win in over 2 years, and he really seemed to enjoy pulling away from his rivals once hitting the front to win comfortably.

This win also took Becky into the lead for the ladies. Well done to her and to winning connections!



Last Thursday 14th June welcomed Wiser Academy’s Handicap at Newbury with 14 runners taking part over a mile and 2f.

A strong early pace was set but it was notably the two runners who came from off the pace and featured in the close finish, with Tony Carroll’s WINDSORLOT ridden by Sarah Bowen on the outer getting up on the line to win by a neck from Serena Brotherton aboard LOVING YOUR WORK with Simon Walker a length and 3/4 3rd.

A keen point-to-point rider who finished 2nd recently in a Hunterchase at Worcester (below), this was a first career win for Sarah under Rules and a day she will surely never forget! “I’m delighted and can’t believe it” she said.

Well done Sarah!🏆👏👍🍾



Following a period of consultation with industry stakeholders, the BHA Board has approved changes to the Rules of Racing regarding safety vests which come into force from 1st October 2018:

  • Level 1 safety vests to be replaced by Level 2 safety vests EN 13158:2009 or 2018
  • Weight allowance: an extra 1 lb in addition to the current 2 lbs making a total of 3 lbs allowance for the vest

The amended rules are as follows:

 For implementation from October 1st 2018 

Schedule (D)2 – Equipment PART 1 

Design of safety vests 

6. A safety vest is approved by the Authority if it meets (BS) EN 13158: 2009 or 2018. 

7. The minimum acceptable standard for a safety vest is Level 2 

8. A safety vest must not be 

8.1 modified in any way, or 

8.2 attached to the horse or any equipment carried by the horse. 

Rule (B)22 – Weighing out procedure 

22.6 The Clerk of the Scales will not allow a Rider to be weighed out for any race unless he is wearing a safety vest which conforms to a standard approved by the Authority (see Rule (D)36 (safety vests, skull caps and saddles)). 

22.7 Rule (D)42 (weighing out) specifies requirements applying to a Rider on weighing out, including the items he must include in the scale. 

22.8 Overweight will be rounded down to the nearest 1lb unit. 

22.9 Subject to Paragraph 22.10, to compensate for being required to wear a safety vest, the weight of a Rider on weighing out will automatically be allowed at 3lbs less than the weight that is registered on the scale (factored into the calibration of the Weighing Room scales). 

22.10 During the months of December, January and February, to compensate for wearing a safety vest and extra clothing, the weight of the Rider on weighing out for a flat race will automatically be allowed at 4lbs less than the weight that is registered on the scale (factored into the calibration of the Weighing Room scales).



What might ordinarily have been seen as a normal week for amateur jockeys riding on the Flat last week proved to be an extraordinary one for some of our lady riders, with Hamilton on Wednesday evening the first port of call of the week.

No less than 15 runners went to post for the 6f sprint with 4 of them finishing in a line, Karen Tutty’s GAELIC WIZARD under Amy Collier getting up by a head (despite missing the break) from a dead heat 2nd MY VALENTINO (Emma Sayer) and VALLARTA (Emily Bullock) with BERLIOS (Serena Brotherton) only a nose away in 4th. What a finish!

This was a day for Amy to remember coming from last to first and being her first victory under Rules from a total of only 3 rides!! Many congratulations Amy on a great career start! 🏆👏👍



The eagerly awaited highlight of the ladies season at York, the Queen Mother’s Cup, did not disappoint with a thrilling finish and Michael Dod’s giving one of his 20-year-old identical twin daughters Sophie her first ever career win aboard MISTER BELVEDERE.

There were many previous winning jockeys in the race with triple winning jockey Serena Brotherton 1999 (Flower O’Cannie), 2003 (Sporting Gesture) & 2014 (Pearl Castle), Emily Easterby 2016 winner (Shoano),  last year’s winner Joanna Lucy Mason (Tapis Libre – trained by dual winner 2011 & 2012 Jacqueline Coward (Crackentorp)), 2015 winner Laura Wilson (Apterix) and 2013 winner (Nanton) by a nose Carol Bartley.  The Princess Royal also won this race back in 1988 and Francesca Cumani followed her mother’s winning 2004 footsteps by winning in 2005 and again in 2006.

An overjoyed Michael Dods said that watching his daughter win “means as much as winning the Nunthorpe” and Sophie added “It’s unbelievable, I can’t quite take it in.”.

The link below tells more:


Good luck to our NH champions in their professional careers


We wish all the best to both Page Fuller who now looks forward to her professional career as well as Lorcan Williams and several other amateur jockeys who await the conditional course at the end of this month in Newmarket before turning professional.

Good luck all!

It was pleasing to see such great coverage of both champions in the Racing Post following their title successes.  Here are the links to their stories which make interesting reading: