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Weatherley off to Algeria

10 October 2017, 2:44 p.m.

Last season’s leading apprentice jockey Sam Weatherley will be flying out to Algeria after his rides at Matamata on Saturday to compete in the HH. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World apprentice championship.

The Matamata rider, apprenticed to Lance O’Sullivan, will be the first New Zealand jockey to compete in the series after New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) was welcomed into the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA).

Sam Weatherley Photo: Trish Dunell Photography

“In February, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing was accepted as a member of IFHRA, which is run out of Abu Dhabi by the Sheik Mansoor Racing Festival,” NZTR Education and Training Consultant Chris Watson said.

“There are 50 countries in IFHRA, including the British Racing School, Racing Ireland, the South African Jockey Academy and Racing Victoria. By becoming a member, New Zealand was eligible to be invited into the World Series.

“They have 10 races across the world and this is the first one we (New Zealand) have been invited to.”

It will be a hit and run mission for Weatherley, who will compete in just the one race in the North African country.

“I’ll ride at the races at Matamata on Saturday and fly out to Algeria on Saturday night,” Weatherley said. “We get in on Sunday their time and race on Monday. We’ll then fly back to New Zealand on Tuesday.”

Weatherley will be accompanied by national riding mentor Noel Harris.

“It’s good to have Noel come over with me,” he said. “It’s a long way over there, so it’s good to have someone to go with.

“It will be a great experience and I am looking forward to it. It will be good to ride against some of the best apprentices from around the world.”

As part of the world series, Weatherley has also been invited to Abu Dhabi next month, however he will need to win his race in Algeria in order to qualify for the World Series final.

“He will still be invited to Abu Dhabi no matter what,” Watson said. “But if he wins in Algeria he will ride in the final in Abu Dhabi in November.

“They will also have workshops for apprentice jockeys and the top riding instructors from around the world will be conducting workshops.” – NZ Racing Desk.