2019 Apprentice Championship shaping into a tightly contested affair

Features | 17th July 2019

The battle for the 2019 Apprentice Championship is well underway, with a number of talented young jockeys in contention to take the coveted prize.

Previous title winners include high-profile names such as Oisin Murphy, William Buick and Frankie Dettori; showcasing the competition’s ability to propel a young rider onto greater things. The Championship draws to a close on Saturday 19th October, with the winner crowned at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day.

Below are the five young stars who currently sit atop the mini-leaderboard to take the Champion Apprentice title this year.

Stats correct as of 5pm Wednesday 17th July.

1. Sean Davis

Wins: 18

Rides: 230

20‐year‐old Davis is currently odd-on favourite for the Apprentice Championship having enjoyed an action-packed 2019.

The young Irishman’s initial breakthrough moment came two years ago when riding a winner on Irish Champions weekend with Maudlin Magalen in the Premier Handicap. But despite early successes, Davis took the decision to move to the UK in early 2019 to become apprentice to Yorkshire-based trainer Richard Fahey; a decision which appears to have paid off as he’s gone on to ride eight winners this season for the prolific handler.

Outside of his primary allegiance to Fahey, Davis has also been able to form relationships with external high‐profile trainers such as Phillip Makin, Keith Dalgleish, Michael Appleby, Robert Cowell and Kevin Ryan. A particular highlight for the Irishman has been riding the Kevin Ryan owned-Pennsylvania Dutch to victory three times this year from five rides.

2. Cieren Fallon

Wins: 17

Rides: 140

20-year-old Cieren has shown a tremendous amount of promise in his short career, riding his maiden winner on only his third start. The rider is based in Newmarket with the powerful William Haggas stable and has amassed 17 wins to his name from 140 rides; with a flurry of winners having come his way recently, including a 499/1 treble yesterday at Nottingham.

Despite being based with William Haggas, Cieren has shown a high work ethic and versatility by riding winners for 12 different trainers so far this season.

Fallon had a particularly successful June too, riding a double at Chepstow on his first visit to the track and even getting a prized Royal Ascot ride in the Windsor Castle Stakes.

3. Rowan Scott

Wins: 12

Rides: 104

23-year-old Scott has been riding for seven years having attained his first win back in 2013.

Rowan experienced success in his early riding career achieving 26 winners in 2017 attracting plenty of attention to the youngster who moved to become apprentice to trainer Keith Dalgleish in March 2017.

Scott has had a brilliant 2019 surpassing his 2018 record of 10 winners and in turn forming successful relationships with multiple trainers; including Nigel Tinkler and Alistair Whillans.

Scott shows no signs of slowing down his rapid progress heading into summer with the jockey having bagged four winners in the last fortnight, including a double last week at York.

4. Ben Robinson

Wins: 12

Rides 140

21‐year‐old Ben joined Brian Ellison Racing in 2014, taking out his apprentice licence from the British Racing School in 2016. His first ride came in 2017, and since then the young jockey has gone from strength to strength.

In 2018, Ben partnered 31 winners from 309 rides, with an additional 99 places, including being beaten a nose in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York on The Mackem Bullet at odds of 25/1.

In the 2019 apprentice championship, Ben has ridden 11 winners from 138 rides and is riding at an 11% strike rate.

5. Phil Dennis

Wins: 11

Rides: 137

Phil would no doubt be one of the more experienced apprentices in the title race having ridden a staggering 109 winners in his career.

Dennis has shown an astounding ability to form relationships with certain horses; the David Griffiths trained-Ornate has partnered him to the winners’ enclosure five times while Philip McBride’s Camachess has achieved the same level of success.

Dennis currently lies 62nd in the overall jockeys championship, level with leading lady jockey Hayley Turner among others.