We are delighted to confirm that the BHA will be introducing amateur riders’ races into the Flat programme in August. Following the devastation caused to our racing programme by COVID-19, these August races will be open to both male and female riders.
Whilst some racecourses are currently unable to accommodate amateur races, it is hoped that this programme will remain unchanged but please be aware that in these extraordinary times it may be subject to change.
We would like to put on record our gratitude to BHA Race Planning and to all supporting racecourses for their tireless work and invaluable assistance which will enable the amateur season to start at last!
It is with regret that the BHA have advised today that owing to the current Covid 19 pandemic there will be no amateur riders’ races scheduled until September 2020 at the earliest, subject to review nearer the time.
With the curtailment of the jumps season announced on Thursday, congratulations to our two newly crowned National Hunt Amateur Champion Jockeys for the 2019/20 season!
Congratulations to reigning Gentleman Champion Amateur Jockey David Maxwell who has enjoyed a great season with a total of 15 winners and retains his champion title.
Gallant in defeat is our runner-up Fergus Gillard who has kept David closely in his sights all season and looked to be closing on him in recent weeks, finishing the season with a total of 12 winners. This was a great effort and well done to them both.
Meanwhile the ladies have a new Champion with Millie Wonnacott enjoying the best season of her career so far, ending with 6 winners – a fantastic achievement.
Another lady jockey enjoying a flourishing career is the runner-up Lilly Pinchin, ending the season just one winner behind Millie on 5 wins. Many congratulations ladies!
With the season enduring so much extreme wet weather resulting in numerous lost cards, it is a brutal blow to racing to see the season come to such an abrupt halt. We are in unprecedented times and we wish everyone safety and good health whilst we get through the next few months.
The BHA announced on Thursday 2 April that jump racing in the UK has been suspended until at least 1 July. Currently working on the resumption of Flat racing “behind closed doors” from 1 May, this will allow the industry to concentrate on Flat racing without jump racing putting more pressure on medical and emergency services.
The decision was made following a proposal from the National Trainers Federation to bring clarity to both trainers and owners and minimise unnecessary expense. It was then agreed by the Racehorse Owners Association, the Professional Jockeys Association and the Racecourse Association. More NH fixtures will be scheduled later in the summer.
On the same day it was also announced in Ireland that the Irish point-to-point season has now ended.
With Tuesday’s BHA announcement that due to the current escalating coronavirus crisis, racing in the UK must cease for a minimum of 6 weeks from Wednesday, our Amateur All-Weather season has been curtailed and has now ended as at 18th March. (Three remaining races (Lingfield 23rd March, Southwell 25th March and finally Wolverhampton 28th March) are lost.)
CONGRATULATIONS must therefore go to our newly crowned Champion All-Weather Amateur Jockey Brodie Hampson who heads the table with 17 points having enjoyed 2 wins on the all-weather this season as well as 3 seconds and a third. This is the first time that Brodie has featured in the top ranking for this competitive mixed championship – a great achievement. Well done Brodie!
CONGRATULATIONS also go to our gallant runner-up Serena Brotherton on 15 points with 1 win this season as well as 5 seconds. Remarkably Serena has hardly been out of the top two positions for this championship in recent years. Well done Serena!
Let’s hope it won’t be long before our lives return to some normality and racing can resume.
Important calendar correction for All-Weather Amateur Jockeys:
The BHA have kindly re-arranged Wolverhampton’s amateur race originally planned for 23rd March (but which clashed with Lingfield) by kind agreement with Wolverhampton racecourse. Many thanks to all concerned.
It has now been rescheduled for 28th March and will be our final All-Weather race of the amateur 2019/20 season when championship presentations will take place.
Many congratulations to our newly crowned Lady Flat Champion Amateur Jockey Sarah Bowen who has enjoyed a fantastic season culminating in 6 wins to give her a clear lead and win her first championship.
In close pursuit, many congratulations to joint runners up Brodie Hampson and Joanna Mason who signed off the season with 4 wins each.
It has been an unusual season not only with such recent wet weather but also with a spate of injuries sustained by Carol Bartley, Helen Cuthbert, Aly Deniel, Abbie McCain and Cath Walton sidelined for various lengths of time to name just a few. It also saw the retirement of Emma Sayer mid-season following her victories at both Ascot and Carlisle.
Well done to all the ladies who enjoyed winning rides and thanks to all trainers, owners and racecourses who have supported them thoughout the summer.
18 year old Caolin Quinn enjoyed a night to remember when winning with his first ever ride under rules at Kempton on Tuesday evening.
Partnering SARIM for Warren Greatrex, he tucked his horse behind the leaders until a couple of furlongs from home. Driving his horse forward, they led a furlong out to hold on bravely and deny Serena Brotherton a double (with her earlier success at Southwell) by half a length, with Becky Smith a further length and a quarter third on her regular ride BLUE MEDICI.
This was a polished performance by the young jockey illustrating the invaluable experience gained as an Irish pony racing graduate. Congratulations to Caoilin and to winning connections!
The race was not without drama, both Simon Walker and Serena Brotherton showing their mastery of the saddle and surviving in turn a really nasty heel clipping incident. Thankfully nobody came to grief.
Sometimes, as with the proverbial London buses, the amateur racing calendar goes through a barren patch and then 2 races are scheduled for the same day. So it was last Tuesday when Southwell hosted an all-weather race over a mile and 6 and Kempton ending their evening all-weather meeting with a handicap for amateurs over a mile and a half.
The only amateur jockey to brave both races 4 hours and 160 miles apart was Serena Brotherton who began her quest for a double in fine style with a facile win aboard Michael Appleby’s RESTIVE, easing up and winning by 11 lengths. Sophie Smith on GRANDSCAPE was second, with Molly Presland finishing third but subsequently disqualified after weighing in light and Pat Millman taking that place with KEITH.
Sadly the race was marred by the dramatic loss of Dave Evans’s RISK MITIGATION who fell when challenging 3 furlongs out and sustaining a fatal injury. Jo Mason thankfully was uninjured.
Well done to winning connections and to Serena on a great start to her quest for a double before she headed south for Kempton!