Kingscote, Appleby & Ghiani among champions for 2020/21 All-Weather Championships
The rider partnered 79 winners during the season, finishing seven ahead of Hollie Doyle, and received his cheque for £8,000 at Chelmsford City this afternoon.
“It has been a great winter from start to finish. I am very grateful for all the support and my agent Guy Jewel has done a good job. It has been a solid season to ride 79 winners and they have flowed nicely through the year. I am pleased with myself.
“For me, only being able to ride at one meeting has been a positive and I think a lot of the lads in the weighing room are now in favour. You can relax a bit into your day and there is no rushing because you are worried that you are going to let somebody down by not getting somewhere. It has been nice.”
Michael Appleby took the All-Weather Champion Trainer honours for a fourth consecutive season and fifth time in all with 59 victories, his highest ever total.
Rutland-based Appleby said:
“It is a good achievement, we’ve got a great team at home who work very hard all winter, so they all deserve it. We have a great bunch of owners, they back the yard and a lot of the owners have been with us a long time, so it’s a great achievement.”
Reflecting on the key factors that have turned the All-Weather season into such a success, he added:
“I think the tracks are a lot better now, the surfaces are getting a lot better than they used to be, and they are putting a lot better races on.”
Looking ahead to the turf season, he said:
“We have some nice horses for the turf, a few of the All-Weather horses will have a break now and then come back for the second part of the turf season. We have not got many two-year-olds in at the moment, so hopefully we will get a few more in for the second half of the season.”
Marco Ghiani, who is apprenticed to Newmarket trainer Stuart Williams, edged out Laura Person in the race for All-Weather Champion Apprentice with 28 winners.
“I am really grateful; this is my third season and it has been going well. I have never been close to being champion apprentice and this year I had a great opportunity to find some good horses and good trainers who will support me.
“My first winner was here at Lingfield two years ago and now I’m on 65 winners, so it’s been a lot of winners since. Stuart Williams has helped me a lot – I am really thankful to him.
“Starting out with Luca Cumani definitely helped me a lot because when I first got here, I was at the racing school and obviously I’d just started riding racehorses. He taught me how to gallop, how to canter, the right paces, and then sent me to his son Matt Cumani in Australia for a winter. He gave me a good chance to learn faster and then has kept supporting me like an owner when he retired. He still sends me messages if I have ridden a horse and he didn’t like the ride!
“I am definitely going to try to be champion jockey on the turf. I have some good trainers supporting me and hopefully they have some nice horses for me too!”
Godolphin secured the All-Weather Champion Owner title for a seventh straight year, with G3 Betway Winter Derby victor Forest Of Dean starring among 42 wins together with a raft of unexposed three-year-olds.
The Winning Most Horse battle went right down to the wire, with both Nortonthorpe Boy and Khatm registering six wins apiece.
Khatm had the chance to go for a seventh victory at Chelmsford City today but could only finish fourth, meaning that Nortonthorpe Boy took the prize for trainer Phil McEntee by virtue of superior placings.
“I am absolutely over the moon. Michelle and Tom, who own Nortonthorpe Boy, have come up to the yard today. They have not been able to go racing all winter, so it has been nice to have them with us today.
“We are only a small yard and to do it today under such close circumstances has been brilliant. To have three horses in with a chance in the final days of the season is almost unbelievable really.
“The Winning Most Horse is something we like to target each season. Spare Parts shared the title a few years ago and then Split Down South was in second last year when the season was cut short. To go on better this year with a horse who cost £7,000 is brilliant.
“Mick Appleby and George Boughey are good friends of mine. We have been having a bit of banter this week and both of them have messaged me today. It has been great.”
Nortonthorpe Boy winning at Kempton Park on March 27
For details of the 24 Fast-Track Qualifiers, please click here: https://www.awchampionships.co.uk/take-part/fast-track-qualifier-dates/ Fast-Track Qualifier winners so far:
1 - 3YO, October 20, Newcastle, 6f, SIGNFICANTLY (Karl Burke/Clifford Lee)
2 - F&M, October 29, Lingfield Park, 1m, INDIE ANGEL (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori)
3 - F&M, November 13, Dundalk (IRE), 1m, UMMALNAR (William Haggas/Chris Hayes)
4 - MD, November 14, Lingfield Park, 1m 2f, DUBAI WARRIOR (John Gosden/Robert Havlin)
5 - SPRINT, November 14, Lingfield Park, 6f, GOOD EFFORT (Ismail Mohammed/Ray Dawson)
6 - MILE, November 18, Kempton Park, 1m, KINROSS (Ralph Beckett/Richard Kingscote)
7 - MD, November 25, Deauville (FR), 1m 1½f, SKY POWER (Gael Barbedette/Stephane Pasquier)
8 - 3YO, December 5, Wolverhampton, 6f, VICTORY HEIGHTS (James Tate/PJ McDonald)
9 - MA, December 12, Newcastle, 2m 56y, ISLAND BRAVE (Heather Main/Cieren Fallon)
10 - F&M, January 4, Wolverhampton, 7f, AMNIARIX (Ed Walker/Richard Kingscote)
11 - SPRINT, January 12, Newcastle, 5f, VENTUROUS (David Barron/Tom Marquand)
12 - MILE, January 12, Newcastle, 1m, BLESS HIM (David Simcock/Jamie Spencer)
13 - MA, January 18, Wolverhampton, 2m ½f, MILDENBERGER (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning)
14 - 3YO, January 25, Kempton Park, 6f, MIGHTY GURKHA (Archie Watson/Hollie Doyle)
15 - SPRINT, February 6, Lingfield Park, 6f, EXALTED ANGEL (Karl Burke/Clifford Lee)
16 - MD, February 6, Lingfield Park, 1m 2f, BANGKOK (Andrew Balding/Ryan Moore)
17 - MA, February 6, Kempton Park, 2m, RAINBOW DREAMER (Alan King/Hollie Doyle)
18 - F&M, February 18, Chelmsford City, 7f, SHIMMERING DAWN (James Tate/Tom Eaves)
19 - MILE, February 20, Cagnes-sur-Mer (FR), 1m, WALLY (Jean-Claude Rouget/Jean-Bernard Eyquem)
20 - MD, February 27, Lingfield Park, 1m 2f, FOREST OF DEAN (John Gosden/Robert Havlin)
21 - SPRINT, March 2, Chantilly (FR), 6½f, DUHAIL (Andre Fabre/Vincent Cheminaud)
22 - 3YO, March 6, Lingfield Park, 7f, APOLLO ONE (Peter Charalambous/Martin Harley)
23 - MILE, March 13, Wolverhampton, 7f, MUMS TIPPLE (Richard Hannon/Ryan Moore)
24 - MA, March 13, Chelmsford City, 2m, RANCH HAND (Andrew Balding/PJ McDonald)