Leading apprentice Raquel Clark has capped off a memorable year in the saddle taking out the UBET Dux of the Academy Award at Monday night’s event.
Clark has been in stunning form of late but her consistency across the whole Apprentice Academy season was a huge part of her taking out the top honour. With 98 winners across the Academy season, the 25 year old was dominant all around the state, finishing fourth in the Metropolitan Jockey Premiership last season and fourth in the State Premiership. Her start to the new season has gone to new heights with Clark currently sitting in second position on both Metropolitan and State standings and in reach of leading jockey Jamie Kah in both as well.
Since November 2017 Clark has collected three Listed wins, two aboard the Tasmanian trained I’m Wesley who claimed the Conquering Stakes and Tasmanian Newmarket while her first South Australian Stakes winner came in the Murray Bridge Cup with the Sue Jaensch trained Von Costa Glass. Clark also made headlines last month riding five winners in one day at Morphettville on Cox Plate Day, a feat which is rarely achieved.
To go along with her Dux victory, Clark also picked up the SATA Award for Most Winners in an Academy Season and an award that will come as no surprise after riding so many winners, The Advertiser Media Award for the best media performed apprentice. As part of her award, Clark will follow in the footsteps of previous Dux winners and spend some time in Singapore next year where she will ride at the famous Kranji Racecourse.
It was a proud moment for Clark’s bosses, Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas who took home the SAJA Award for Master of the Dux. The rider/trainer combination have been lethal over the last twelve months with Clark riding 20 winners and 38 placings for the stable from 118 rides at a 17% win and 49% place strike rate.
Winner of the HKJC Dux Runner-Up was another female who’s been making serious waves in the sport recently, Kayla Crowther. Last Friday night Crowther was crowned Junior Sports Star of the Year at the SA Sports Awards and her Runner-Up Award on Monday caps off a fantastic twelve months for the talented rider.
In the 2017-18 season, she finished third in the SA Rider’s Premiership behind Jamie Kah and Todd Pannell and has continued that good form this season currently sitting in fourth spot in this year’s standings. She also took out this year’s Caitlin Forrest Memorial Award, which was proudly presented by Caitlin’s mother, Yvonne.
Other winners on the night included Alfred Chan who took home the Office for Recreation and Sport Endeavour and Sportsmanship Award while Alice Lindsay was awarded the SAJC Rising Star Award for the best Junior Apprentice. Gary Lo was a proud recipient of the Simone Montgomerie Encouragement Award and Justin Huxtable was recognised for his Listed win on the Darren Weir trained Krone in the Cinderella Stakes.