As the flat season continues to wind down, Pontefract stage their second September meeting on Thursday 28th. The highlight of the card is the Simon Scrope Dalby Screw-Driver Handicap – a £20,000 Handicap over 1m2f. ‘Screw-Driver’ was the racing pin up in the early 19th century, winning at least 2 ‘Cup’ races. These ‘Cups’ consisted of four heats over 2 miles on the same day with the winner being the horse with the best aggregate score over the 8 miles! This impressive feat makes Screw-Driver just about the first Pontefract course specialist on record! Team Godolphin have an excellent record in this race and they have taken 3 of the last 4 runnings. Their ‘Memorial Day’ destroyed his rivals last year by an easy 8 lengths – it was the last time he was seen in Hand... (Read More)
The 2017 Apprentices Series races
Doncaster – Sat 1 April, Ripon – Thurs 20 April
Pontefract – Wed 3 May, Wetherby – Mon 15 May
Beverley – Tues 27 June, Redcar – Sun 23 July,
Thirsk – Fri 4 August, York – Sun 10 September,
Catterick – Sat 21 Oct
Final – Doncaster 11 November
Round Eight, September 10
It was all change at the top once again after the eighth round of the 10-race Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Series run at York on September 10.
Clifford Lee, who had taken the lead overall after winning round five at Beverley, found himself back on top after grabbing his second runner-up slot of the season on the Jason Ward-trained Roll On Rory in the Tom O’Ryan Memorial Apprentice Stakes.
Those nine points took him back above Connor Murtagh, who had finished in the pack on Chiswick Bey and while they remain one and two, the victory of Callum Rodriguez on Dark Intention for trainer Lawrence Mullaney puts him right in the mix.
It was the second win of the series for Rodriguez, who was also successful at Pontefract in round three and puts him right on the heels of the leaders.
With just two rounds to go – at Catterick on October 21 and Doncaster three weeks later – the competition is bubbling up to be the most exciting one yet with 16 riders still in with a chance, a number which would increase in the event of any divided races.
The leaderboard is:-
Clifford Lee 42
Connor Murtagh 38
Seamus Cronin 24
Jamie Gormley 23
Ben Sanderson 20
Phil Dennis 18
David Egan 18
Harrison Shaw 18
Tina Smith 18
Megan Nicholls 15
William Cox 9
Raymond Dawson 9
Josh Quinn 9
Patrick Vaughan 8
Ger O’Neill 8
Shelley Birkett 6
Ryan Timby 6
Lewis Edmunds 4
Ben Robinson 4
Jordan Uys 4
Jane Elliott 3
Paula Muir 3
Cameron Noble 3
Mitch Godwin 2
Sean Mooney 2
Lenka Helmecka 1
Faye McManoman 1
David Parkes 1
Rowan Scott 1
Gemma Tutty 1
2016 Winner Rowan Scott’s blog
A few things have changed since my last blog. I’ve moved up to Keith Dalgleish’ Yard in South Lanarkshire. I’d been thinking of making the move for a while and i felt it was the right time to go for me to progress. It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my career, Ann and George Duffield were really good to me.I was really young when I started there and they looked out for me, as well as teaching me a great deal about racing.
The season’s started off really well with a winner on the 2nd day of the turf at Doncaster aboard Zoravan for the new boss and ontoawinner syndicate. He’s an exciting prospect for the season ahead having only run on the all weather previously, the main query was if he would handle the switch to turf but ended up winning impressively and i’m sure there will be more to come from him. I’ve also been lucky enough to steer Taxmeifyoucan to a 15L victory, he is definitely worth keeping an eye on. Miss Bar Beach ran a cracker first time out at Beverley when the penny dropped halfway through the race, she’s going in the right direction and should break her maiden tag before long.
I was delighted to win the Go Racing in Yorkshire Apprentice Series, i didnt think i was in the running but it turns out all the frustrating 2nd places I was getting counted for something!
I come from a little town in the Scottish Borders called Hawick. As a kid my first love was Rugby and my ambition to play for Scotland. That dream seemed to get further and further away from me as I watched all my Rugby mates get bigger and bigger. The obvious thing to do was to stick to my pony Ginger (in more ways than one), he taught me a lot about staying on a horse. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with riding. I started helping out at Alistair Whillans yard, when he realised I couldn’t even lift the water buckets I’d been filling he bravely let me loose on the gallop when I was 13. I got the bug from then on and will always be grateful for what I learned there and still go and ride out any chance I get. It was a family friend who put me in touch with Ann and George Duffield. I jumped at the chance of becoming their apprentice having spent a few school holidays on the yard. George is a massive help, meticulously going through every race, he gives me a lot of his time and I have the utmost respect for him and Ann.
After we got all the yearling broken in and ridden away winter started off with a nice break in Abu Dhabi, for HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship. The festival consists of 12 arabian races around the world throughout the year, then the final is in November in Abu Dhabi. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Chantilly, San Francisco and Poland from this great initiative for young jockeys. I was meant to be representing Great Britain in the final but unfortunately the horse was pulled out the day before. The trip on the whole was a lot of fun (not to mention educational) and i met and caught up with some great people and real characters!
Dr. George Wilson from Liverpools JMU was one these characters. His nutrional and exercise plan has helped me no end to getting my weight under control for the season ahead. It is easy to let your weight creep up when you take your eye off the ball or when things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped. But getting it back down isn’t quite as easy. Friend and jockey coach Phil Kinsella is a great help to me, always on the other end of the phone for advice or just to keep my head straight.
Rides can be few and far between at this time of the year but i have had a busier January than in previous years so hopefully that’s a good sign of things to come. My aims for the season ahead are abviously to ride as many winners as possible but on top of that to improve as much as i can and make some long lasting contacts to set me up for seasons ahead. It would be nice to win this series again.
We have an exciting bunch of 2 year-olds at Sun Hill for 2017. My pick of the colts is Shades Of Mist, by Lilbourne Lad out of Talqaa he’s big strong lad with a bit of growing to do yet but has shown a bit on the gallop so far and has a good attitude. My pick of the filly’s would have to be Clifftop Dancer, by Canford Cliffs out of Dance To The Top. She’s not the biggest but she’s sharp, well put together and also has the right attitude. The two older horses i’m most looking forward to riding are Ajman Prince for the Whillans’, he can be quite quirky at home and before the race but has shown good ability and i’m hopeful there will be more to come from him on the track this year. The other horse i’m looking forward to riding is the 9 year-old Bertiewhittle of Mr. Barron’s, he has given me two winners at York so far. Racing at York is always very competitive, everyone wants winners at this prestigious track.
ROLL OF HONOUR
2013 – Gary Mahon
(attached to Tim Easterby)
2014 – Megan Carberry
(attached to Brian Ellison)
2015 – Josh Doyle (attached to David OMeara)