Month: November 2018

John Dixon enjoys success with Captain Zebo at Wetherby


John Dixon enjoyed a great start to Saturday’s card at Wetherby, getting off the mark for the season when partnering CAPTAIN ZEBO for his father to win the novice hurdle by 5 lengths on the horse’s debut run since being bought out of Gordon Elliott’s yard.

Well done John and congratulations to winning connections!

Sam Waley-Cohen enjoys Cheltenham success with The Young Master


Many congratulations to Sam Waley-Cohen who enjoyed a great front running performance from The Young Master trained by Neil Mulholland in the opener, the Markel Insurance Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase, at Cheltenham today to win with ease and dent Station Master by 8 lengths.

Sadly the race was marred by the loss of Nigel Twiston-Davies’s Jameson who fell 2 out when travelling well under Zac Baker and a close challenging 2nd. Of the 11 runners, only 6 finished, with 3 falling at the second last.

Winning trainer Neil Mulholland said: “It was great. He had got the course form as he has been round here before, and the form of his last win had worked out well. He is a very genuine horse. He is still only 9 – people think he is a lot older, as he has been around a long time.

“He was very game and gutsy and seems to have come back to form. The nicer the ground, the better for him. We will leave him in the Ladbrokes Trophy (at Newbury on December 1) and speak to the owners and see how he is.” Well done and good luck to winning connections with future plans.


Ben Jones wins AJA hurdle at Ludlow


A great day for Ben Jones today enjoying his 2nd career win to date and first winner for boss Philip Hobbs with Midnight Glory when successful in the AJA Hurdle.

Well done Ben!



Calling all amateur jockeys! And that includes point-to-point jockeys!

Thanks to the support of Racing Welfare, the inspirational Dr George Wilson of Liverpool John Moore’s University is coming to Cheltenham Racecourse next Tuesday evening 20th November at 7 pm!

This is a golden opportunity for any jockey with weight and/or nutritional concerns to hear from an expert. Admission FREE! Highly recommended!  Be there!





NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the 2017 Annual General meeting of the AJA will be held on  Monday 3 December 2018 at 12:00 noon at Premier Yew Lodge Hotel, Kegworth in the Laurent Perrier Suite when the following ordinary business will be considered:

  1. to receive apologies for absence
  2. to consider and if thought fit to approve and confirm the Minutes of the previous AGM and to authorise the President to sign them
  3. to receive and consider the report of the directors
  4. to receive and consider the report of the Chief Executive
  5. to receive and consider and if thought fit to pass a resolution adopting the accounts for twelve months ending 31 December 2017.  The accounts are now completed and copies will be available at the AGM.  Alternatively, on receipt of a stamped addressed envelope, copies will be sent to members on written request
  6. The following director retires at the AGM in accordance with Regulations 26.1 and 26.2 and offers himself for re-election:   Richard Dunwoody (nominated by Anthea Morshead and seconded by Bob Davies).
  7. to re-appoint Andrew Winterburn Chartered Accountants as auditors and to authorise the directors to fix their remuneration

Dated:  9 November 2018

By order of the board

David Maxwell enjoys surprise victory at Newbury


Congratulations on a great ride to victorious David Maxwell today when partnering his Ecu De La Noverie trained by Philip Hobbs in the Agetur novice hurdle over 2 miles at Newbury and winning by a short head in a photo finish, denying James Bowen!

An entertaining interview followed with Alex Steedman with David’s passion and enthusiasm for the sport in evidence. Many congratulations to him and to winning connections!👏👏👏👏👏

You can watch most of the interview here:

Posted by Sarah Oliver on Thursday, 8 November 2018

Becky Smith stamps authority on Ladies Flat Championship with finale win at Nottingham


Many congratulations to our 2018 Lady Flat Champion Amateur Jockey Becky Smith who stamped her authority on this year’s championship by concluding the season with another winning ride, emulating her male counterpart Simon Walker who did just that one week ago with the Gentleman’s Championship.

Partnering DEBATABLE for Mick Appleby, the partnership were always prominent and tracked Amie Waugh and MR CARBONATOR until ridden out to take up the lead a furlong from home.  They went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths, with MR CARBONATOR 2nd and Emily Easterby 5 1/4 lengths 3rd on her father’s SILVERY MOON.

Emily Easterby, Betfair Novice Champion Jockey in 2016,  has enjoyed her best season to date with 7 winners, pipping multiple Champion Jockey Serena Brotherton by one win.  This was another remarkable achievement.  Well done Emily!

To put into perspective the enormity of Becky’s triumph, there has never been a Lady Flat Amateur Champion before who has enjoyed so many wins in a season.  Most championships have been won with 5 or 6 wins and Serena Brotherton came closest to Becky’s total with her best season of 10 wins in 2014.  In addition, there has never been a Lady Flat Amateur Champion in the past who has simultaneously enjoyed pole position in the National Hunt league tables which was the case a few weeks ago.  Becky currently lies in 2nd place to Aine O’Connor with most of the season ahead.

Many congratulations to our new Lady Champion and to our Runner-Up and well done to today’s winning connections.   And of course congratulations to all of our lady riders who have enjoyed winners this season.

You can watch the closing stages of today’s race in the fading light at Nottingham here:

Becky Smith looks forward to Championship presentation


We look forward to seeing 15 runners sign off the ladies Flat season at Nottingham tomorrow evening to close the card as the nights draw in.
Becky Smith has been in an unassailable position for a few weeks now to claim her first Lady Flat Amateur Jockey Championship and extended her lead to double figures when winning the sprint at Musselburgh on 15th October (pictured below). Becky has battled hard this season with reigning joint champion Serena Brotherton putting up a serious challenge as well as Emily Easterby who is currently in runner-up slot on 7 wins.
Becky goes into the women’s finale at Nottingham tomorrow at the top of the leaderboard on 10 wins for the season. Considering that Becky is also reigning National Hunt Runner-Up (to Page Fuller) for the Ladies Championship 2017/18 and currently lies in 2nd place in the current NH season to leading lady Aine O’Connor, this is a serious and unique achievement. Well done Becky!
Emily Easterby holds the runner-up slot on 7 wins but there is a chance she could be joined by multiple Champion Jockey Serena Brotherton, currently on 6 wins.
Presentations will be made to the Champion Jockey and to the Runner-Up following winning connections’ presentations after the race.
Good luck all!

Brave Brodie Bounces Back from Injury


The penultimate ladies Flat race of the season held at Newbury on Saturday 28 October with 16 runners provided a dramatic result.   A Stewards Enquiry was called after this season’s leading jumps lady Aine O’Connor was first past the post with Harry Fry’s PRESS GANG a short head in front of Brodie Hampson and Ian Williams’s WAR BRIGADE, which resulted in a photo finish.  (Joanna Mason finished 2 1/4 lengths back in third with Hughie Morrison’s AFFAIR.)

The Stewards concluded their enquiry by reversing the placings, awarding the race to Brodie Hampson, having viewed Press Gang edge to his left under a right handed drive which carried War Brigade to the left.  Unfortunately Aine was suspended for 2 days for careless riding and a shocked Harry Fry said “We’ve lost a few stewards’ enquiries now, so I thought one would go our way, but the longer it went on the more nervous I was getting.”

Nothing however should detract from the great achievement of the winning rider Brodie Hampson who has made a remarkable recovery back to full fitness following her horror fall at Newton Abbot at the end of June when she sustained multiple fractures to her spine and severe concussion.  Many congratulations to Brodie and also to winning connections.

Brodie went on to prove she is back with a vengeance after enjoying another visit to the winner’s enclosure just 6 days later on Friday at Uttoxeter.  Partnering KNIGHT CRUSADER for John O’Shea in the pro/am bumper over a mile and 7,  Brodie held her horse up until half a mile from home when she began to drive her horse forward to lead a furlong out and win by 1 3/4 lengths.

Well done Brodie on a great ride!  You can watch victorious Brodie return to the saddling enclosure here:

UK represented in Abu Dhabi HH Sheikha Fatima finales this Friday 9 November


This Friday 9 November sees the finales of both the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) and also the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentices World Championship (IFAHR) in Abu Dhabi.

10 jockeys ride in each race as follows:

Ladies: Belgium’s Sara Vermeersch (winner in Stockholm), France’s Marie Lemartinel (winner in Morocco) and Mégane Peslier (winner in Toulouse), Germany’s Rebecca Danz  (winner in St Moritz), Ireland’s Evanna McCutcheon (winner in Oman), Italy’s Ilaria Saggiomo Ilaria (winner in Netherlands), Morocco’s Zineb Briouil, Netherlands Nadia Ibrahim, Sweden’s Tina Henriksson (winner in Houston USA) and UK’s Antonia Peck.

Apprentices: Belgium’s Sanne De Ceulaer (winner in Seville) and Jurico Bogaerts (winner in Ostend), Germany’s Esther Weißmeier, Ireland’s Eoin Walsh (winner in Copenhagen), Oman’s Abdul Aziz Al Balushi (winner in Morocco), Poland’s Joanna Grzybowska, Russia’s Anna Makarova, Spain’s Alejandra Gutierrez Baeza (winner in Tarbes), Sweden’s Andreas Tapia Dalbark (winner in Oman) and UK’s Patrick Pilley.

Many thanks as always to Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), and thanks also to our hosts in Abu Dhabi – Pat Buckley and Sam Shinsky – for their kind and generous support.

Good luck all!