We look at the top 6 apprentice/conditional jockeys to watch and why. They get a weight claim which could be the difference between winning and losing your bet!
Here are the Top 6 Apprentice and Conditional jockeys that we feel are worth keeping an eye on over the coming months.
Sean Bowen (Current Claim – 3lb) – Bowen won the 2014-15 Conditional Jockeys Championship at the age of just 17, riding 51 winners and showing a £35.55 profit to level stakes for the season. The son of the Welsh trainer Peter Bowen, he regularly rides for his father and is worth following at his local track Chepstow, where he has a 41% strike-rate showing a £43.50 profit to level stakes. Bowen rode a number of winners for trainer Paul Nicholls last season and shows a £31.54 profit to level stakes on rides for Nicholls.
Josephine Gordon (Current Claim – 7lb) – Gordon rides on the flat predominantly for trainer Stan Moore. She has ridden 4 winners from 35 rides so far this season and is showing a £20.00 profit to level stakes. She is more profitable presently on the turf than the all-weather and is particularly adept at Bath, where she has a 33% strike rate with 3 wins from 9 rides.
Jack Kennedy (Current Claim – 7lb) – Kennedy rides in Ireland both on the flat and over jumps and has recorded 15 wins so far this season. Attached to the trainer Gordon Elliott, Kennedy is showing a £21.00 profit to level stakes on the flat and a £11.64 profit to level stakes over jumps. Kennedy has recorded 2 wins from 2 rides at Limerick showing a £13.50 profit to level stakes and so far has a 50% strike rate with flat trainer Patrick Flynn, riding 2 winners from 4 rides for a £41.00 profit to level stakes.
Nico de Boinville (Lost Claim) – Nico de Boinville began this year’s Conditional Jockeys Championship with a 3lb claim but has recently lost this claim due to now having ridden more than 75 winners. Runner-up in last year’s Championship to Sean Bowen, de Boinville partnered Coneygree to Cheltenham Gold Cup success last season. Despite losing his claim, de Boinville is very much a young jockey to keep a look out for, particularly in Hurdle races where he is showing a £126.44 profit to level stakes. A 45% strike-rate at Fakenham is also worth noting, with a £100.27 profit to level stakes at the course.
Donnacha and Ana O’Brien (Current Claims – 5lb and 7lb) – Son and daughter of Irish Champion trainer Aiden O’Brien and sibling of Irish Champion jockey Joseph O’Brien. Both Donnacha and Ana have an outstanding racing pedigree and ride regularly for their Father. Still in their teenage years they may well follow brother Joseph into the professional ranks.
What is an apprentice/conditional jockey?
Apprentice (Flat) and Conditional (National Hunt) Jockeys are allowed to claim a weight allowance which is an advantage for the horse due to the potential disadvantage of having a young and inexperienced jockey on board. This weight allowance depends on the number of winners that the Apprentice or Conditional jockey has ridden.
For Apprentice Jockeys, they can claim 7lb until they have ridden 20 winners, 5lb until they have ridden 50 winners and 3lb until they have ridden 95 winners. For Conditional Jockeys the allowances are slightly different, with them allowed to claim 7lb until they have ridden 20 winners, 5lb until they have ridden 40 winners and 3lb until they have ridden 75 winners.
Both Apprentice and Conditional jockeys take part in their respective annual jockeys championship with the Apprentice Jockeys Championship running normally from the start of May until the end of October and the Conditional Jockeys Championship running from April to April.