Friday 27th October held one of Newbury’s last flat meetings of the 2017 season alongside the Apprentice Hands and Heels Series Final. The ground was declared as soft on the day which sadly meant there were 3 non-runners, 9 ran in total.
Before the final David Egan was flying ahead by 19 points which meant it was impossible for the other apprentices to catch him up. Unfortunately when declarations had been cleared, David was due to ride at Doncaster meaning he wouldn’t ride in the final and wouldn’t be able to collect his trophy on the day. This meant William Cox who was on board Incus for trainer Ed De Giles, was battling to keep victory in 2nd place.
John Reid and Nick Bentley were on hand to walk the course with the jockeys and assist with the de-brief post-race. All in all William Cox and Milly Naseb are the runners up for the Hands and Heels Apprentice Series. There was only a point between the two before the race commenced! As only ‘win’ and ‘place’ points count in the final race unfortunately Milly just missed on receiving any points to bump her into 2nd place.
Eighteen year old David, who is Apprentice to Roger Varian started pony racing when he was younger in Ireland. Growing up with his father John Egan who has ridden numerous Group 1 winners, David is following in his father’s footsteps.
Former student of the British Racing School, David has done exceptionally well, he landed Champion Apprentice- riding 53 winners this season and stormed ahead in the Hands and Heels series. This series is for riders who have no had more than 10 winners prior April 16th, 2017. David had his 11th winner on 20th April, 2017 which meant he had just qualified to ride in the series. He has gone from 11 wins in April to nearly 70 in just one season, incredible achievement!
Note to editors
David Egan is Apprentice to Roger Varian and has ridden 69 winners since taking out his licence.
William Cox is Apprentice to Andrew Balding has ridden 17 winners since taking out his licence.
Racing Excellence is part of the Jockey Coaching Programme 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 2011 as ‘Racing Excellence’. In February 2014 The British Racing School took over the management.
The winner of the series will collect a £1000 prize of their choice to be used towards developing their career.