The Montgomerie Forrest Apprentice Series begins this Sunday at Strathalbyn as we honour two of our female apprentice Jockeys that have passed away.
Simone Montgomerie started her career at David Jolly’s stables and became the first female to ever win the NT's jockey premiership. Caitlin Forrest was a successful apprentice and won the Provincial and Country Apprentice Jockey of the Year for the 2013/14 season. Both had a strong connection with the Strathalbyn track throughout their young careers.
The two race series begins on Sunday and wraps up a month later on June 12 at Strathalbyn. The Series action takes place in Race 4, the Daish Irrigation Fillies & Mares Benchmark 64. The seven horse field looks a strong contest on paper with plenty of smart trainers with a runner in the race.
Last start winner Touch has been given the top weight in the race, with Caitlin Jones to the ride. She’s returned in pretty good form after a few years out of the sport and even found herself with a Metropolitan winner on Oaks Day a fortnight ago.
The State’s leading jockey Raquel Clark will ride Emma Hubbard’s new stable addition, Conconi and the Strathalbyn based trainer has a great record on her home track. Conconi races well first-up and on soft tracks which is a massive plus for the mare’s chances.
There’s not too many better trainers in the State than David Jolly and his runner Leggero returns from a run at Morphettville last month. She returns to her home track where’s she’s got a first and second to her name from two starts. New Zealander Kate Cowan is still looking for her first Australian winner and this would be some occasion to bring it up.
The other Jolly brother, Richard will saddle up Angel’s Wish along with his daughter Chantelle. Their new training partnership has started fantastically this mare is another who loves the Strathalbyn surface with two wins and a second from three starts. Apprentice Kenny Lau has enjoyed a good month in the saddle with five wins and will be running home late on this mare.
Will Clarken’s Sapphire Miss returns to the track for the first time this year after joining his stable from the Francis/Kent yard. The mare took on Group 1 winner Sunlight in a Gawler trial last month and while she finished well back there, she would have learnt a lot from that and Clarken is a master at getting the best out of his new arrivals. Gary Lo takes the ride on the mare.
Finally, Strathalbyn local Grant Kluske saddles up two runners, Atomic Lokade and Artistic Escape. The five and six year olds are the two most experienced runners in the field and will be ridden by Anna Jordsjo and Sophie Logan. Jordsjo is one of the more experience apprentices in the ranks and will give the mare every opportunity to win while Logan has enjoyed a successful season with 27 wins since moving to SA late last year.