Rising star Ben Price has been crowned the Dux of the Racing SA Apprentice Academy after riding more winners than any other apprentice in South Australia in 2022. His consistently high standards including two metro trebles at Morphettville, earned Price the prestigious honour just ahead of the fast finishing Teagan Voorham.
“Ben is a natural born competitor and his overall consistency throughout the year riding winners has set the bar very high,” said Racing SA Apprentice Academy Master Briony Moore.
“He was one of our busiest apprentices and finished with 74 winners for the year. That combined with the fact that Ben was in the running to win the John Letts Medal up until the last month of counting just behind Kayla Crowther, Paul Gatt and Barend Vorster speaks volumes about the level he’s been riding at.
“Obviously with Will Clarken as his Master, Ben gets to ride for the state’s biggest stables and his execution around those bigger stables has been top notch making him a worthy winner,” she said.
The other big winner on the night was third year apprentice Alana Livesey who won three awards. With a season leading strike rate of 15% she was honoured with the award for Best Winning Strike Rate, was named the Rising Star 2nd & 3rd Year Apprentice, and presented the Endeavour & Sportsmanship Award by the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing, Katrine Hildyard MP.
“Alana is the quintessential hard worker, who rolls her sleeves up and just wants to get better and better,” said Racing SA Jockey Coach Dean Pettit.
“You can only dream of having 15 Alanas in an Academy. Her work ethic, and her desire to get better is second to none. She sets a very high standard of critique for herself, but is very professional, speaks well, and I think she has got plenty of admirers in the jockey room and outside of the jockey room for how she conducts herself.
“Alana had a nasty ankle injury that forced her to have the best part of five months off to start the year, and beyond that she has almost surpassed everyone on numbers and figures. Each month her numbers got better and stronger, and she has put herself in a position where I can say the younger apprentices are looking and saying that’s what I want to be, and it’s a credit to her,” he said.
Also at the TAB Apprentice Awards evening at Morphettville on Thursday night, Jade Doyle won the SA Racehorse Owners Association (SAROA) Award, Sophie Logan won the Caitlin Forrest Memorial Award selected by the Forrest Family. A new addition this year was the Ride of the Year award which also went to Logan for her victory on Montign for trainer Stuart Padman.
Britney Wong won the Simone Montgomerie 1st year Apprentice Award, and Ellis Wong rode the Longest Priced Winner paying $71 on Case Closed at Port Augusta.
Along with being named Dux and riding the most academy winners, Price shared the Special Achievement Award with Voorham who finished the year on a high winning two listed races.
“We are coming off an incredible 2022, where our apprentices went from holding 20% of the average market booking to now averaging 39%, which shows the faith the owners and trainers have in our riders,” said Moore.
“Overall the 21 apprentices riding under the banner of Racing SA enjoyed 5800 race rides, and combined for 540 winners and 1100 placings.
“We have great depth in the Academy and there is every reason to be excited about this young crop of riders coming through,” she said.
|SA Racehorse Owners Association Award||Jade Doyle|
|Caitlin Forrest Memorial Award, Ride of the Year||Sophie Logan|
|Simone Montgomerie - Best 1st Year Apprentice Award||Britney Wong|
|Best Winning Strike Rate, Rising Star - Best 2nd or 3rd Year Apprentice, Minister for Racing – Endeavour & Sportsmanship Award,||
|Longest Priced Winner||
|Special Achievement Award (black type win), Dux Runner-Up||Teagan Voorham|
|Most Winners in an Academy Year, Special Achievement Award (black type win), Dux of the TAB SA Apprentice Academy||Ben Price|
|Master of the TAB SA Apprentice Academy Dux||Clarken Racing|