Locals show up in apprentice awards

Zy Nor Azman after winning on the Ben Foote-trained lluminati early last season. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Zy Nor Azman, pictured after winning on the Ben Foote-trained lluminati early last season. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Young local riders Zy Nor Azman and Emily Farr were among the recipients of awards at the annual Waikato Apprentice Jockeys School Prizegiving at the Clubhouse Sports Bar in Cambridge last Monday evening.

Nor Azman, who is indentured to Ralph Manning, picked up two trophies, the Paddy Murray Award for the best presented apprentice at the scales and deadheated with Graeme Rogerson’s apprentice Ryan Elliot for the Milan Park Most Improved Apprentice Jockey Award, which included a trophy donated by local trainer Lee Somervell.

Farr, who is apprenticed to Craig Phelan (father of her partner, top jumps jockey Shaun Phelan), was the recipient of the Anne Browne Outstanding Apprentice Jumps Rider Award.

Nor Azman has ridden a total of 24 winners with six of them coming in the current season, while Farr has mixed jumps and flat riding with success, kicking home 32 winners with five this term.

Matamata apprentice Shaun McKay was again the winner of the main trophy, the Milan Park Premier Apprentice Jockey Award, and he was also recognised with the Bill Simon Trophy for the most outstanding ride by an apprentice.

Simon’s son, well-known commentator and a past President of the Cambridge Jockey Club, selected McKay’s winning ride aboard Amarula in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas last year as the standout performance.

Anna Jones picked up the Milan Park Most Outstanding Female Apprentice for the second year in succession, while fellow Matamata apprentice Sam Weatherley won the Milan Park Most Promising First Year Apprentice Award, which included the Landers – Crawford trophy.

Tegan Newman, who is indentured to Matamata trainer Jim Collett, was recognised with the Primary ITO Aptitude Award and Jasmine Fawcett, who is from Te Akau Racing Stables, won the FLAIR Quiet Achiever Award.

Special thanks goes to the main sponsor of the awards, Tony Rider of Milan Park.

The apprentice prizegiving was held prior to the Cambridge Jockey Club’s Awards and there was certainly much to celebrate for the local centre.

A total of 11 Group One winners came off the Cambridge training track last and, incredibly, seven of them were on major Australian racetracks.

Cambridge was also responsible for 541 individual winners during the 2015-16 season and that was up by 64 from the previous record set a season earlier.