Cam Hardie: is third in the race for the apprentice championship
PICTURE: By Edward Whitaker
CAM HARDIE rode a landmark 95th winner on Rum Swizzle in a division of the 1m4f handicap at Lingfield but conceded afterwards that losing his claim will make his battle for the apprentice title all the harder.
Hardie is allowed three clear days still claiming 3lb but will have to compete with the top jockeys on level terms from Sunday onwards.
Success on Rum Swizzle took his score to 27 in the Stobart-backed championship, but Tom Marquand hit back with a treble in the first three races at Bath to go four ahead and pass Jack Garritty as title race leader on 31 winners.
Hardie, who like Marquand is based with Richard Hannon, rode his first winner on French Press at Wolverhampton in October 2013.
He said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has got me this far – all the trainers and owners who have supported me – but I’ll have to play with the big boys now. I’m going into unknown territory but hopefully there are plenty of people behind me to keep my career going forward.”
Asked about his battle for the apprentice title he said: “I’m not sure what the score is now. I’d love to win it, but with the others still claiming and my claim gone it’s going to be tough. I’ll just do my best and see what happens.”
Man to beat
Hardie is available to back at 7-2 for the championship with Betfred, who cut Marquand to 7-4 (from 5-2) following his 1,013-1 Bath treble.
Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths said: “Marquand is in flying form and is quickly becoming the man to beat in the race for the apprentice title.”
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