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Opperman claims Apprentice Academy Dux

Teenage jockey Jacob Opperman has been crowned the dux of the Apprentice Academy SA after a memorable year on the saddle.

The 18-year-old has ridden 68 winners over the past twelve months, and Academy Master Briony Moore says he’s achieved feats that we haven’t seen before.  

“The top apprentices can be winning listed races in a year – we’ve had a really good strike rate with them winning our listed races, but when you’re pushing into a group three race and five winners in a day you are starting to get into that really memorable territory,” Briony said.

“He was fortunate enough to win a listed race the Port Adelaide Guineas at Morphettville on the 10th of April, followed by the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes on Royal Mile and that awarded him a ride in the SA Derby and he was the only apprentice that was able to ride in that race.

“Not to mention he won the Casterton Cup over in Victoria followed by the apprentice race at Doomben when we took him away on the National Apprentice Race Series.

“And just to highlight it even more Jacob rode five winners at Morphettville on the 12th June.

"That is one mighty feat.”

According to Moore, his laid back approach has been a key strength.

“One thing about Jacob is he’s a really cool, calm dude. Nothing much fazes him so he is very laid back in person and that follows through into his riding as well. And just his commitment to wanting to refine his style and get that strength out of his riding in the last couple of hundred metres.”

Hot on his heels at the Apprentice Academy SA Awards was 19-year-old Ben Price who was crowned dux runner-up.

“Ben has had a really outstanding year. I think one thing to put into context was Ben only started riding on the 1st January this year so for him to have so many winners is quite incredible,” Moore said.

“Ben also had some real standout results. On top of his four winners in a day at Morphettville, he’s also had three metropolitan doubles and one metropolitan treble in a day so that’s really outstanding. You just know that next year he is really going to be pushing those milestones.”

Teagan Voorham also took home three awards after returning to race riding nine months after breaking her leg during a horrific fall at track-work.  

Moore says she’s a worthy winner of the SA Racehorse Owners Association Award and the Minister for Racing – Endeavour & Sportsmanship Award.

“Teagan’s endeavour to get back to her best included putting in a lot of time in the gym prior to coming back from that injury, and she was pretty much at the stables every morning even though she couldn’t work. So that really showed endeavour to want to come back and be better than she was.

“And with the sportsmanship she’s really taken on that role as a senior apprentice and really helped the younger apprentices. Any time you ask Teagan to help one she’s always there to do it.”

Other jockeys honoured at the Apprentice Academy SA Awards Night include Alana Livesey who was a worthy winner of the Caitlin Forrest Memorial Award for her hard work on and off the track.

The Simone Montgomerie Encouragement Award went to Jade Doyle for her commitment and enthusiasm to be the best she can be.

Angus Chung won the Rising Star – Junior Apprentice Award for his 36 winners since starting race riding on February 4.

Apprentice Awards 2021


Rising Star - Junior Apprentice Award

Angus Chung

Simone Montgomerie Encouragement Award

Jade Doyle

SA Racehorse Owners Association Award (SAROA)

Teagan Voorham

Caitlin Forrest Memorial Award

Alana Livesey

Most Winners in a Academy Year Dec/Dec

Jacob Opperman: 68 winners

Longest Priced Winner

Teagan Voorham: Hardashian $91 SP


Maggie Collett: Witchachar Star $91 SP 

Special Achievement Awards

Ben Price: Four Metro winners in a day -  Max Fire, Philonize, Star Of Uma, Alleboom 


Gary Lo: Winner of the Listed WH Wylie Handicap 


Jessica Eaton: Winner of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic


Jacob Opperman: Winner of the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas and the G3 Chairman's Stakes. Five Metro winners in a day - Royal Obsession, Jaguary (NZ), Icecrusher, Imperial Hilton, Greetings Ned

Best Winning Strike Rate

Jacob Opperman: 13.00%

Minister for Racing - Endeavour & Sportsmanship Award

Teagan Voorham

DUX - Runner Up

Ben Price

Master of Dux of the Apprentice Academy

Jamie Opperman

Dux of the Apprentice Academy

Jacob Opperman

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