William Featherstone strides clear in the Racing Excellence Conditional Training Series

05 May 16

The final of the Racing Excellence Training Series will be held at Plumpton on Sunday 8th May. Will Featherstone, conditional to Alan King is 17 points clear of nearest opponent Ciaran Gethings after winning two series races and being placed in a further two. Thirty-eight jockeys have ridden in the series, which started in September last year and would usually comprise of 13 races but unfortunately due to bad weather 3 races were abandoned.

Given that there is only the opportunity for jockeys to gain points for race position during a Final, it leaves Will with a comfortable enough lead to be crowned Champion whether he has a ride in the Final race or not.

Throughout the series Jockeys are awarded points for walking the course and race position and the Jockey Coach who attends the race also has the opportunity to give points to the ‘Jockey of the day’, for this they need to show professionalism, conduct themselves well and demonstrate good riding skills. In the final Jockeys will be awarded course walking points and place points only, 1st place – 5pts, 2nd place – 3pts, 3rd place – 2pts and 4th place – 1 pt. The series is for jockeys who have not ridden more than 20 winners prior to the first race in the series. Whips can be carried, waved and used but only in the backhand position.

Racing Excellence runs alongside the Jockey Coaching Programme (JCP) and is the industry accreditation for all apprentice and conditional races which run under hands and heels or training race conditions. Initially set up by The British Racing School as ‘Support for Young Jockeys’ in 2006, the BHA rebranded the scheme in 2010 as ‘Racing Excellence’. In February 2014 The British Racing School took over the management of Racing Excellence and The JCP. The latter gives all Apprentices and Conditionals the opportunity to have a coach. All coaches who are all ex Jockeys can be on hand to help with fitness, riding technique, nutrition and race reviews. A coach will attend every Racing Excellence race to conduct the pre-race course walk and then will also debrief afterwards.

Former Jockey Steve Smith Eccles will be the coach at Plumpton for the final. Steve rode 900 winners worldwide with 876 in the UK, 8 of these were Cheltenham Festival winners and he was leading rider at the festival in 1985.

The winner of the series will collect a £1000 prize of their choice to be used towards developing their career, this could be anything from a fuel card to a racehorse simulator

For more information on Racing Excellence or the Jockey Coaching Programme please contact Jennie Durrans, [email protected] or call 01638 669039.