Firing Apprentices – Young Jockeys In The Spotlight

Our first Firing Apprentices column proved more popular than short skirts on a Chatham hen-night! Which fresh-faced jockeys are ruling the roost, this week?

Thumbs-Up, For Hambling

Natalie Hambling gets fewer rides than a hitchhiker carrying a chainsaw, but it looks like trainers are missing a trick as she snatched another win at Ripon on Sunday. Pearl Noir (13/2) looked in trouble, when edging left, but Hambling kept her cool and the pair got the better of Flicka’s Boy by half a length.

Jack Kennedy helped to cement his reputation as one of Ireland’s rising stars, with 3 victories last week. He first scored with Norman Lee’s Rebel Cry (11/4), on Monday at Roscommon. On Friday, Gordon Elliott was benefiting from Kennedy’s skills, when Be The Hero (5/1) notched at Kilbeggan. He also won cosily on Elliott’s Missy Tata at 8/15. Impressive stuff.

There was another big-price winner for Sammy Jo Bell, on Monday. Her partnership with Richard Fahey’s Bayan Kasirga (11/1) proved too good for San Cassiano at Musselburgh. All of her last 10 rides have been for Fahey, who clearly prizes this brilliant young jockey.

The decision to book Jacob Butterfield bore fruit for Ollie Pears, when Roaring Rory (3/1) won at Beverley on Tuesday. It was Butterfield’s 2nd successive victory, following his win on Perfect Words (14/1) at Thirsk during the previous week.

Punters Gay, After Gordon Bags Another Trio

Fetch a bucket of water, because Josephine Gordon is on fire! Following her fantastic exploits, in the previous week, she grabbed 3 more winners. On Tuesday, Lady Bayside (8/1) was her partner in crime at Chepstow. She then bored us all by winning yet again with Indira (2/1), at Newmarket on Thursday, before steering Arrowzone (7/1) home on Saturday at the same racecourse. This horse-riding malarkey is clearly too easy for her and she needs to try her hand at something more challenging, like diving for pearls without an oxygen tank.

Credit must go to Eoin Walsh, for quickly getting to grips with a keenly racing Dovil’s Duel (3/1) at Bath on Wednesday. Walsh didn’t allow the 5-year-old to get to the front until there was just 2f of the race left to run. The Irish runner stayed on well and won by 3.5 lengths.

Shane Inflicts More Pain

Shane Gray and Dodgy Bob (9/1) sound like a pair of underworld henchmen from a Guy Ritchie movie. The duo mugged Tikthebox and Tom Eaves at Hamilton, on Friday, finding more when it looked certain that the Irish runner was about to go past them. Gray also won on Dodgy Bob, almost a year ago to the day, at Ripon. No other jockey has been able to get this lag to sing, so the partnership looks locked-up. Take the top-bunk, Shane!

There was just one ride for Milly Naseb (10/3), but she made the most of it and landed the spoils with Upavon at Newmarket on Friday. This girl really deserves more bookings. Her strike-rate is excellent and those who have backed her in every race have secured a healthy profit.

Adam McNamara was back on the attack, at Ripon on Sunday, in a race where 3 of the first 4 positions were occupied by runners carrying apprentices. Spring Offensive (7/2) beat Steel Train (20/1) by just a neck. The runner-up was piloted by Shelley Birkett, while Mukhayyam (28/1) was 4th with Rachel Richardson on-board.

Rob’s Win Signals Return To Form

Rob Hornby’s recent form looked like it had been shunted into a siding, but he finally came good again at Beverley on Tuesday. China Excels made all and beat See Vermont by ¾ of a length. He’s a terrific jockey and it’s great to see him back on track. Expect more weak train-set puns, when he steams home again.

We’ve no idea what Megan Carberry was up to, for the most part of last week. We can confirm that she was seen at Market Rasen, yesterday, shouting ‘Get Outta My Way’ to rival jockeys as she steered Our Kylie to victory. Perhaps she spent the rest of her time reclining on a chaise-longue, eating olives and discussing philosophy with her muse?

A Maiden No More, Thanks To Murphy

Michael Murphy won for Charlie Hills, at Windsor on Monday. Grapevine (4/1) left the gate like a university student getting out of bed on New Year’s Day, but the Lilbourne Lad colt was soon into stride and stayed on well to finally shed his maiden tag.

Pandar may only have been priced at 1/2, but there will have been no shortage of pressure on Daniel Muscatt at Brighton on Monday. His calm ride ensured there was to be no drama and the Twitter trolls were kept in their caves.

Callum Shepherd picked up a winner, with Always Resolute (5/2), at Doncaster on Saturday. He’s proven that he can be trusted to ride horses that are expected to go close, but needs to start picking up some winners on the bigger-priced horses that he’ll mainly be on the back of in this campaign. Other apprentices are achieving much more, with a great deal less, at the moment. To be fair to him, he is burdened with the weight of expectation more than most, as we all know what he is capable of.

Louis Steward grabbed an 11/1 victory on Bocking End, at Wolverhampton on Monday. He’s finished as runner-up, on a number of occasions, already this season and a glut of winners shouldn’t be long in coming.

Tutty Does The Trick

The magic of Gemma Tutty was on display again, at Thirsk yesterday. It was her 4th victory on the Fasliyev-sired gelding Gaelic Wizard, this time at the monster price of 20/1. Mum will be so proud!

George Wood remains in a rich vein of form and rewarded connections of Exceeding Power (17/2) by winning at Newmarket on Friday. Other recent triumphs have come aboard He’s My Boy, Hint Of Grey and King Of Naples.

And Finally, Tom Marquand will have impressed Richard Hannon again, on Wednesday, although the trainer must already know what a talent he has on his hands. A 12/1 victory on Nayel once again rewarded punters who are backing his rides in every race. This guy looks to have everything it takes, to be a leading jockey for the next 15-20 years. He’ll probably put an end to global poverty and find a cure for the common-cold, while he’s at it.

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