DOWN TO THE WIRE FOR THE ALL-WEATHER APPRENTICE HANDS AND HEELS SERIES FINAL

22 Mar 2014 Racing/Fixtures

Two apprentice jockeys will ride at Lingfield today in contention to win the All-Weather Apprentice Hands and Heels Series final, part of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Racing Excellence Series.

The two riders battling it out for the title are Louis Steward (Michael Bell) and George Buckell (David Simcock). Louis currently tops the table with 37 points, with George Buckell a close second on 36 points. With a maximum of nine points to be won at Lingfield today, there is everything to play for on this final day of the Series. Points are awarded to jockeys for winning or being placed, as well as for riding skills, professionalism and conduct on the racecourse. The winner today will receive £1000 to spend on riding equipment to help further their career.

The BHA Racing Excellence Series consists of seven separate Series for jockeys of different levels of experience across Flat, All-Weather and Jump codes. The Series has been devised to offer assistance to young jockeys in the form of race-riding skills, guidance on how to conduct themselves with employers, owners and the media and offering advice on how to adopt a professional and structured approach to their career, under the guidance of experienced BHA Jockey Coaches.

Multiple Group race-winning former jockey Michael Tebbutt, is the BHA Jockey Coach who will be at Lingfield today to mentor the riders. He said:

“The Racing Excellence Series’ are an excellent way to help apprentice jockeys gain experience and race riding skills. Throughout the series young riders attend a pre-race course walk and get advice from the BHA Jockey Coach on the day on tactics and going. This is followed by post-race analysis on riding skills and development with the Coach.

“Having been one of the original Jockey Coaches employed by BHA when the scheme launched in 2011 I’ve seen the initiative go from strength to strength. It provides an invaluable education to young riders and during all the Series I have been involved in I’ve seen a real improvement in the jockeys I have coached. I know they are thankful for the support and experience the Jockey Coaches can pass on.

“I’m looking forward to the showdown for the All-Weather Hands and Heels final this weekend, it’s been a tight league and both George and Louis are worthy winners.”

Previous winners of Racing Excellence Series who have gone on to successful careers include Luke Morris, who finished sixth in the British Flat Jockeys Championship in 2013, Ian Popham, who is in the top 35 of the British Jump Jockeys Championship for 2013/14, and Jason Hart, winner in the British Apprentice Jockeys Championship for 2013.

The Racing Excellence Series is now under the management of the British Racing School, on behalf of BHA.

For more information about the Racing Excellence Series or the Jockey Coaching Programme please contact: Clare.Higgins@brs.org.uk.