Marquand licence switch boosts Gordon’s title hopes

Josephine Gordon

Josephine Gordon: apprentice title hopes have been given a boost

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

JOSEPHINE GORDON’s hopes of becoming the Stobart Champion Apprentice have been given a boost after it emerged that her main rival, and last year’s champion, Tom Marquand will not be able to add to his tally for the final six days of the Championship period because of a change to his licence.

Marquand, who rode out his claim on June 30 and is two winners ahead of Gordon in the apprentice title race, will switch to a full Flat licence on October 10. As a result, any winners ridden by the 18-year-old after that date will not count towards the apprentice title, which concludes on Champions Day on October 15.

The rules state that once an apprentice jockey has ridden out their claim, he or she is entitled to continue to ride on their apprentice licence until it expires or for a maximum of six months, whichever comes sooner.

Won’t give up crown easily

Gordon, who has ridden 40 winners so far during the championship, will be going all out to win the title and the £5,000 prize.

Acknowledging that her prospects have improved, she said: “This certainly does give me a chance to clinch the title from Tom, but I know he won’t be giving up his crown easily. 

“I’m going to be giving it my all to win the title, and if I don’t, it won’t be for a lack of trying.”

Work extra hard

Despite the blow, Marquand has not given up hope of retaining his title. He said: “To win the apprentice title twice would be a dream come true, but I will have to work extra hard to overcome this final obstacle. 

“All I can do is give it my best shot up until October 10 and then it is in the hands of the racing gods.”


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