LUKE BACON, a young stable lad at Harper Lodge Farm, had his first ride in public yesterday at Windsor aboard Soaring Spirits.
The 18-year-old Essex apprentice only received his jockey’s licence last month and it was not long before he was given the opportunity to race under Rules. He was aboard nine-year-old Soaring Spirits in a six furlong apprentice handicap, the snappily titled, “Watch Sky Sports Racing Virgin 535 Apprentice Training Series Handicap (Racing Excellence Initative).”
Luke had a good draw, six of thirteen and although he broke well, Soaring Spirits never really got into the race. The Racing Post comments read: “Never beyond midfield, ridden and no progress 2f out”. The pair finished 10th, beaten 6 3/4 lengths.
Spirits likes to dominate and is not an easy ride when he gets behind. Yesterday, he didn’t have any headgear on, so Luke’s task on the 33/1 outsider was never going to be easy but it was important for the young apprentice to gain confidence and not have a horse set alight by blinkers or a visor.
Luke was also riding against more experienced apprentices such as the winner of the race, Cieren Fallon, son of the former six-times British champion jockey. He was having his 90th ride in public and it was his 13th winner.
While it was not a fairytale start to Luke’s riding career, it would have been a good introduction and he enjoyed every moment. He showed no nerves beforehand in the preliminaries which involved him having to help tack up the horse!
Luke has only been with the stable just over a year and he went to the British Racing School in Newmarket after leaving school. He commented at Windsor that he and the other young apprentices had received a lot of support both during their training and at Winsor yesterday before the race.
He thoroughly enjoyed his first race and if a cool and calm demeanour and professional approach count for anything, Luke could have a future as a jockey!