Windsor stewards ignore apprentices over going

Willy Twiston-Davies Pic: Edward Whitaker

Willy Twiston-Davies: was one of the apprentices to ride in the opener

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

OFFICIALS at Windsor postponed an imminent going change following the opening apprentice handicap on Monday evening in order to consult with professional jockeys who were scheduled to ride in the second.

Following an afternoon of intermittent weather, the ground was described as good to soft, good in places prior to the six-race card getting underway.

However, the young riders were greeted with a heavy downpour as they made their way into the parade ring, and the sharp burst failed to relent until shortly before the succeeding six-furlong maiden.

The immediate impact on the ground was clearly visible as the opening field sloshed their way down the home straight. The overwhelming consensus among the participating jockeys was that the ground had changed significantly, but the clerk of the course, acting on advice of the stipendiary steward, did not issue a change an official change until half an hour later.

Jeff Green, clerk of the course, said afterwards: “I was advised by the stipendiary steward to wait until after the professionals had ridden. Obviously the going was going to change, but we wanted further advice.”

Stipendiary steward Colin Vickers echoed those sentiments. He said: “As it was still raining, and the going could have changed again, we thought it best to wait until after the second race when the professionals had ridden.

“Obviously some of the apprentices were pretty experienced, and we’re not mandated to wait, but on balance we thought it was the best thing to do. Obviously it doesn’t always happen like that, but it was simply because the apprentice race was first on the card.”

The ground was changed to soft all round before the third race.


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