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SA apprentices go from strength to strength

Fresh off South Australia’s win in the National Apprentice Race Series we chat with Apprentice Academy Master Briony Moore about their recent success.

Why do you think SA has traditionally done so well at NARS, and won it again this year?

It’s quite incredible that in the 14 years the series has been running we’ve won it seven times. Our apprentices really seem to thrive from the experience and responsibility that comes with being able to represent each other and the state.

The fact that we are able to compete and thrive on the national stage shows the level of our apprentices, and indicates the programs we have in place here at Racing SA are working.

Is the NARS win a reflection on the jockey stocks in SA right now?

I couldn’t be prouder of the apprentice group we have at the moment. Our apprentice numbers are really healthy right now. 

Currently we have 19 apprentice jockeys all out there riding. We only have one that is going through her trials and we are lucky enough to have Cam Rawiller over here on a loan from Victoria. After riding 10 metropolitan winners and loving his time in Adelaide he’s finally decided to make the move permanent.

Over the years a lot of interstate apprentices have moved over for opportunities and really loved it, and they’ve now bought homes in the state.

We’ve got Stacey Callow who moved here from Victoria. We’ve got Sophie Logan who was initially a picnic rider in Victoria. And we’ve also got the four Hong Kong jockeys in South Australia using this as a sounding ground to build up their skills and abilities.

Why do you think SA has such strong apprentice numbers?

What I’m seeing is that track work riders are identifying with the programs we have in place, and these are acting as a pathway into race riding and I think that’s one of the most exciting things.

We’ve got some of the highest numbers I’ve ever seen coming through pathways into the Apprentice Academy. There’s probably a really good 15 riders out there that have shown their intention there that they want to be jockeys.

I really think that the change in focus and the resources put in place by Nick Redin and our board is playing a huge role in terms of the resources we can now provide to the industry.

We have the likes of Clare Lindop working for Racing SA, John Cornell who’s an ex-jockey himself and is a pillar in the industry, and Dean Pettit who is having an impact as jockey coach.

I really think Clare has been a massive influence for the female riders in this state, and also the industry in showing that females can do the job just as well as the males, and I’m really finding there is not much of a gender divide now.

Which apprentice jockeys have impressed you recently?

I think a real stand-out of late for mine is Ben Price. He has just had a stable change and I have not seen an apprentice go so well in that first year of riding so he has done a really excellent job and always keeps meeting the bar when lifted

Angus Chung has had five metropolitan doubles on since he got his ticket four months ago so that’s incredible.

Then we have the likes of Teagan Voorham who has really stepped it up in our senior ranks and is getting a lot of support from the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas stables. She really has come back stronger than ever after a nasty broken leg a year ago.

Stacey Callow has done an incredible job, in the month of January in just her second month in the saddle she was SA’s leading apprentice.

How competitive is it amongst the apprentice jockeys?

They are a really, really close-knit bunch of riders so they get on very well off the track, but on the track it’s definitely game on. They are extremely competitive but are also really supportive of each other throughout the highs and the lows of racing.

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