The Winner will be Revealed of the Hands and Heels Jump Series 2017-18 on Scottish Grand National Day

19th Apr 2018 | News

Saturday 21st April sees the Final of the Hands and Heels Jump Series at Ayr Racecourse on what is set to be a fantastic days racing at the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival.


There has been a mix of 49 Conditional and Amateur riders taking part in the series. Sean Houlihan, conditional to Philip Hobbs and Charlie Hammond conditional to Dr Richard Newland battled closely throughout the series, leaving them just two points apart going into the final. Fergus Gregory conditional to Olly Murphy had a flying start to the series, having a clear lead after Ludlow on 9th November. Unfortunately he had a fall at Towcester which meant he couldn’t participate in the series for a while, however he is still sat in 3rd position. Declarations on Friday 20th April may indicate who has a chance to win the series.

Throughout the 12 race series, Jockeys are awarded points for walking the course and place points. The Jockey Coach 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 place points only, 1st place – 5pts, 2nd place – 3pts, 3rd place – 2pts and 4th place – 1 pt. Jockeys riding in the hands and heels races may carry a stick and are allowed to pull the stick through but are not allowed to use it for encouragement.


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 re-branded 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 the coaches are ex Jockeys and 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.


The jockeys will undergo a course walk with Tim Reed ex-jockey, now BHA Jockey Coach. Tim has plenty of experience riding over 240 winners in his riding career. Tim also trains racehorses as well being a valuable member of the Jockey Coaching Programme.


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 horse simulator. Previous winners of the Hands and Heels Conditional Series include Mr James King, Harry Cobden and Sean Bowen.


For more information on Racing Excellence or the Jockey Coaching Programme please contact, Polly Greco, or 01638 669039