Many of you will have followed the efforts gone through by our apprentice Liam Doran to try and convince the BHA to grant him a licence. At 25 years old, he would only have a year to ride as an apprentice as at age 26, you lose the status. However, despite numerous setbacks and months of trying, Liam persevered and was finally granted a licence last month. He wasted no time in proving he was capable of doing the job by finishing second on Handheld twice but he went one better this week and got that first winner on the board with Attain at Sandown.
Attain was an unlucky loser at Beverley the time before but, never far off the pace, he cruised into the lead and won by a couple of lengths.
Attain is a fantastic advert for the N.E.T. Racing Club who (for just £200 per year) have a tremendous amount of success and fun. It's the perfect way to get into racing for beginners or if your budget doesn't quite stretch far enough to join a syndicate. This week the Club had three runners resulting in a winner and two seconds at the top tracks of Nottingham, Sandown and Newbury. More details can be found on our OWNERSHIP page.
We've had a busy week with eight runners, of which only two finished out of the prize money, so it's no surprise that the coming seven days will be a bit quieter.
On Monday, the enigmatic Veeraya goes to Wolverhampton in his bid to get his head back in front after way too long. He is very well handicapped now and is in great form at home but we have been scuppered with the widest draw over the seven furlong trip and that already puts him on the back foot. He is ready to win but needs all the luck to go his way.
I'm looking forward to having Pitch High hit the track again at Yarmouth on Tuesday. He ran a blinder on debut to finish fourth at Sandown where his inexperience just let him down. With that effort under his belt, I hope there is still some more improvement to come and I'd be disappointed if he wasn't thereabouts again. It is a maiden race so you never know what you may bump into but he is a horse with lots of potential.
Another juvenile I really like is the unraced Tallulah's Quest. She went a bit weak on us a couple of months ago but has come back to herself now. Having said that, she still looks like she has lots of growing still to do so I won't rush her. There's an ideal fillies' maiden for her next month and it will be worth waiting for as her homework is very good.
Handheld has an entry at Sandown on Wednesday but I'll keep an eye on the weather as he got away with running on firm ground last time yet I'm not keen to risk it twice as he has had leg trouble in the past. You never know when the nice weather may break so I'll keep my eyes peeled.
After that we have no entries until Limerick Lord at Lingfield on Saturday. He bounced back to form with a second over six furlongs there last week and should go close again if lasting the extra furlong distance. The trip isn't perfect for him but it's an apprentice riders' race and Liam will be claiming a massive 10lb allowance off his back and that is too big a chunk of weight to ignore. He is a simple ride as he just goes his own pace in front and it will be a case of whether he can last home.
THREE TO FOLLOW LEADERBOARD
Maureen Case 55
Anthea Telford 55
Jonathan Kinge 54
Barbara Walton 53
Annette Hall 52
Liam Doran 50
Gary Wardle 50
Ross Birkett 46
Phil Gunning 46
Sophie Feilden 46
Eileen Turner 46
Matt Bisogno 46