11 Apr 2014 Education/Training

Hot on the back of a nail biting All-Weather Hands and Heels final at Lingfield three weeks ago, tomorrow (Saturday 12 April) sees the Hands and Heels Conditional Series Final, part of the BHA Racing Excellence Series, take place at Ayr Racecourse.

Jack Sherwood, conditional jockey for Champion Jump Trainer Paul Nicholls and the leading contender for the title, will travel the length of the country from Somerset to Ayr in order to secure the prize. Jack has already tasted Racing Excellence success when winning the Conditional Training Race Series last year while based with Nicky Henderson. This season Jack has won three Racing Excellence races already and goes in to the final at Ayr 21 points ahead of his rivals and barring elimination will win the series.

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.

Points are awarded to jockeys for winning or being placed, as well as for riding skills, professionalism and conduct on the racecourse. The winner of each Series receives £1000 to spend on riding equipment to help further their career. Jack will use the money to top up the fuel card he received for winning last year’s Conditional Training Race Series.

Paul Nicholls, Champion Jump trainer said:

“Since starting with us in August 2013 Jack has gone from strength to strength and winning the Hands and Heels Conditional Series Final this weekend will mean the world to him.

“The BHA Racing Excellence Series is a great way for young riders to learn their trade and the support and advice from the Jockey Coaches helps develop their riding skills as well as professional manner.”

Peter Scudamore, BHA Jockey Coach for the final at Ayr said:

“The Racing Excellence Series provide valuable education to young riders and helps develop their riding skills. Having current and retired professional jockeys on hand to advise the jockeys gives extra support to young people starting out in their career. Jack seems to be riding very well at the moment. Winning this final would make his family very proud and would boost his career to bigger and better things.”

Previous winners of the Hands and Heels Conditional Series are Tom Garner, James Best and Aodhagan Colon. Previous winners of other Racing Excellence Series include Luke Morris, who finished sixth in the British Flat Jockeys Championship in 2013, Ian Popham, who is in the top 50 of the British Jump Jockeys Championship for 2013/14, and Jason Hart, winner in the British Apprentice Jockeys Championship for 2013.

For more information please contact Zinnia Welby ([email protected]) or visit the website racingexcellence.careersinracing.com.