Ed Dunlop will try to remain unbeaten at Beverley this season when he saddles Weloof in the feature race on Thursday (April 27). The Newmarket handler enjoyed a fine start to the 2017 campaign at the East Yorkshire circuit when he secured a double at the opening fixture last Wednesday. Amlad and Global Revival obliged for Dunlop on the Westwood, and now the Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah-owned Weloof gets the chance to shine in the 2017 Bernard Evans Memorial Handicap (2.45). Like Amlad, the three-year-old colt sports the same red and white silks of Dabyah and Daban, who both advanced their Classic claims with significant victories last week. Weloof was well beaten on his sole start as a juvenile, but caught the eye at Wolverhampton last month when he won an eight-and-a-half-fur... (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 2: Ripon, April 20
There was a thrilling finish to the second race in this season’s Future Stars competition with the judge declaring a dead-heat after Foxtrot Knight under a strong ride from David Egan got up right on the line to share the spoils with Blue Grass and young rider Harrison Shaw.
Although lacking the experience of his rival, Shaw rode a smart race on the Michael Easterby-trainer Blue Grass, who was having his first run for 10 months. He had tracked the leader Desert Ace before striking for home two furlongs out, tactics which seemed likely to pay until Egan produced Foxtrot Knight to give Ruth Carr’s charge a share of the spoils. Both riders picked up 18 points for a win.
Megan Nicholls, who had collected nine points when riding the second in the opening round at Doncaster, added another six for third place here. She rode a terrific race on General Alexander for Brian Ellison, but the four-year-old just lacked the pace to get to the leaders when asked for his effort.
David Egan 18
Harrison Shaw 18
Tina Smith 18
Megan Nicholls 15
Clifford Lee 6
Jamie Gormley 3
Cameron Noble 3
Mitch Godwin 2
Ben Robinson 2
David Parkes 1
Jordan Uys 1
Round 1: Doncaster, April 1
Tina Smith, who had ridden only one winner in her fledgling career, doubled her score to take an early lead in the race to win the 2017 Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Series at with an impressive win on Boycie.
The four-year-old, who was completing a treble on the day for trainer Richard Hannon, was pushed to the front fully two furlongs from home and though he started to wander in the final furlong, his young rider kept him going well.
In the end, he had three parts of a length to spare over the Tony Carroll-trained Deeley’s Double whose rider Clifford Lee was runner up to Rowan Scott in the 2016 series after making an even better start when winning one of the two divisions at Doncaster.
It was much tighter for minor honours as Deeley’s Double saw off Volpone Jelois and Megan Nicholls by a neck with a further two lengths to Take Two and Boychick, whose riders Cameron Noble and Mitch Godwin also posted top-six finishes in last season’s Future Stars competition.
Tina Smith 18
Megan Nicholls 9
Clifford Lee 6
Cameron Noble 3
Mitch Godwin 2
David Parkes 1
2016 Winner Rowan Scotts Blog
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)