National Hunt trainer Oliver Sherwood had two reasons to be proud last month as the Racing Excellence Series’ for Conditional Jockeys reached their respective conclusions. Jack Sherwood, Oliver’s nephew and son of former jockey Simon Sherwood, was crowned champion of the Racing Excellence Conditional Jockeys Training Race Series; whilst Tom Garner, a conditional jockey at Sherwood’s yard, was crowned champion of the Racing Excellence Hands and Heels Conditional Series.
The conclusion of the Conditional Jockeys Training Race Series was held at Plumpton on Sunday 12th May with two jockeys – Jack Sherwood and Killion Moore – battling for the title going into the final race. Jack Sherwood prevailed however, winning the race aboard the Oliver Sherwood-trained favourite Drum Valley. Jack, 21, is currently a conditional jockey with Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson and in winning the title becomes the second consecutive series winner from the yard, following in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Jeremiah McGrath.
The Conditional Jockeys Training Race Series is for conditional jockeys who have ridden less than 20 winners. Speaking about the Series, Jack Sherwood, who has been recieving Jockey coaching from Mick Fitzgerald, said
“Riding in this series has been an excellent starting point for my career as I have only just become a conditional jockey. The course walk and instructions given by the Jockey Coaches were really useful and helped me a lot.”
The Hands and Heels Conditional Series is for conditional jockeys who have ridden less than 10 winners. Tom Garner saw off his rivals by eight clear points, riding in seven of the 14 designated races and winning two of them. He was also able to obtain maximum points on two occasions by being granted ‘Jockey of the Day’ by the appointed Jockey Coach. Garner, 22, joined Oliver Sherwood in June 2012 and enjoyed his best season in 2012/13, winning 12 races with a strike-rate of 15%.
Speaking of both achievements, a proud Oliver Sherwood said:
“I am delighted that I have been able to help two young jockeys win their respective series. The Jockey Coaches, Mick Fitzgerald for Jack and Jimmy McCarthy for Tom, have been invaluable to teaching them about race riding. Both Jack and Tom have got bright futures ahead of them, and if they keep their heads down and work hard, I’m sure they’ll ride plenty of winners.”
Both Tom and Jack are being regularly coached as part of the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) Jockey Coaching and Mentoring Programme designed to further improve the skills of young jockeys and to develop all round sports people. All Jockey Coaches are UKCC qualified in order to keep in line with mainstream sports and provide coaching in all aspects of their careers from technical support, motivation, confidence, fitness and communication skills.