Race to be Newbury’s Champion Apprentice hots up

With the 2015 Flat season now well underway, the race to be Newbury’s Champion Apprentice is gathering pace.

Patrick O’Donnell leads the charge with two winners, but there are no less than seven young jockeys hot on his heels with one win each. Cam Hardie, who leads the national Apprentice Jockeys’ Championship, Tom Marquand and Megan Nicholls are among those who have all been on the scoresheet so far and, with 12 Flat racedays still to go, the competition is sure to be fierce.

The award, new for the 2015 Flat Season, was devised by Newbury Racecourse and Conundrum Consulting to recognise the hard work and dedication of apprentices. The apprentice who rides the most winners winner will collect prize of £1,250, with the runner-up receiving £500. In the event of a tie, the number of second and third places will be taken into account.

The presentation for the award will be made at Newbury on Friday, November 27, when Conundrum Consulting will also make a £250 donation to the Injured Jockeys Fund.

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All thoroughbred races at Newbury will count for the purposes of the award, and the latest standings are available in the official racecard and can be seen below.

O’Donnell is in action at Newbury’s evening fixture tomorrow, Thursday, July 9, which is Proms In The Paddock, while Tom Marquand has two mounts on the same card. The former partners Always Resolute in the Al Basti Equiworld Handicap (8.40pm) while the latter is on Ciara’s Beauty in the Zenergi Fillies’ Maiden Auction (7.00pm) and on Gracious George in the Relyon Cleaning Newbury Handicap (7.30pm).

Proms In The Paddock offers a seven-race evening card consisting of an Arabian race followed by six thoroughbred contests. The entertainment after racing is provided by a Proms-style classical music performance from the Southern Symphonia, with music also provided during the evening by Berkshire Young Maestros. Gates open at 4:30pm with the first race at 5:55pm.

Newbury’s Thursday Nights come to a close on July 23 with the NSPCC Charity Race Evening & Comedy Night, which will feature a comedy show in the Crafty Filly Bar after racing and an appearance by Jump jockey and renowned funny man Mattie Batchelor. Gates open at 4.00pm, with the first race at 5.30pm. There is one final chance to enjoy evening racing at Newbury this season on Tuesday, August 25.

Standings as of Friday 3rd July 2015

Jockey 1st 2nd 3rd
Patrick O’Donnell 2
Tom Marquand 1 1
Cam Hardie 1
Louis Steward 1
Megan Nicholls 1
Rob J Fitzpatrick 1
Danny Brock 1
Philip Prince 1
Gary Mahon 2 1
George Blackwell 1
Chris Meehan 1
Rob Hornby 1
Kevin Stott 1
Daniel Cremin 1
Declan Bates 1
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