BET DIRECT ALL-WEATHER CHAMPIONS
NOVEMBER 7 - MARCH 18, 2006
The fifth Bet Direct Annual All-Weather Awards Ceremony, takes place at Lingfield Park last night - Saturday, March 18. The winners are listed below.
Champion Trainer - Nick Littmoden
Nick Littmoden landed a thrilling fight for the Bet Direct All-Weather Trainer’s Championship for 2005/2006.
His total of 27 winners has helped him amass 214 points in total, putting him 19 points clear of closest pursuer Karl Burke at the end of the official all-weather season.
As the top trainer, he takes the tremendous first prize of £15,000, while an additional £7,500 goes to his stable staff.
The 43-year-old Littmoden, based at Southgate Stables in Newmarket, has been aided by a number of multiple winners.
One of the most improved horses in the yard is Prince Charlemagne, a three-year-old colt who has won four on the bounce at Lingfield, partnered each time by top apprentice and emerging talent James Doyle.
Kindlelight Debut is another four-time victor this year for Littmoden, while Bravo Maestro has scored three times, landing the betdirect.co.uk Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton on Saturday, March 11 and came sixth in the betdirect.co.uk Winter Derby today (Saturday, March 18).
The battle for second place has been long and sustained, with hardly anything between two trainers.
Burke and Kevin Ryan finished separated by just four points - 195 to 191.
Burke takes the second prize of £10,000, plus £5,000 to the stable staff, while Ryan receives £5,000 with £2,500 awarded to the stable staff.
Paul Howling is in fourth spot and gains £2,000 with £1,000 going to his staff.
BET DIRECT ALL-WEATHER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Trainer Wins 2 3 Points
Nick Littmoden 27 15 23 214
Karl Burke 23 24 18 195
Kevin Ryan 21 28 24 191
Paul Howling 19 22 28 168
Champion Jockey - Eddie Ahern
The Bet Direct All-Weather Champion Jockey for the 2005/2006 season is Eddie Ahern.
The 28-year-old improves on his runner-up position behind Neil Callan last season to take the top prize of £12,000.
He has ridden 51 winners on the all-weather this season, with a total of 437 points and is over 70 points clear of his nearest rival.
Among his winners this all-weather season have been the classy Nayyir, who returned to Wolverhampton on February 18 to take the betdirect.co.uk Conditions Stakes, and Arturius, unbeaten in two starts on the all-weather before being unplaced in the £100,000 Group 3 betdirect.co.uk Winter Derby, at Lingfield today (Saturday, March 18).
Last year’s champion jockey on the all-weather, Neil Callan, has finished in second position this time round, landing £6,000 with his total of 41 winners and 363 points.
Robert Winston, who has returned to the saddle after being injured in a horrendous fall at Ayr in August, takes the third place prize of £4,000 with 344 points, having ridden 40 winners, while Chris Catlin, third last year, gains £2,000 for fourth place with 278 points, having partnered 29 winners.
BET DIRECT ALL-WEATHER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Jockey Wins 2 3 Points
Eddie Ahern 51 53 35 437
Neil Callan 41 46 48 363
Robert Winston 40 48 38 344
Chris Catlin 29 41 39 278
Jamie Spencer 33 23 26 254
Tony Culhane 31 22 15 238
Top Apprentice Jockey - James Doyle
James Doyle has become the Bet Direct All-Weather Champion Apprentice Jockey for 2005/2006, securing a £6,000 prize for his efforts.
The 17-year-old, whose mother Jacqueline trains and sister Sophie is also an apprentice , has burst onto the racing scene this all-weather season, riding 20 winners and scoring a fantastic total of 165 points.
He lost his 7lb claim following the victory of Casablanca Minx at Wolverhampton on February 18, and now has a 5lb allowance, with his services very much in demand.
Over half of James Doyle’s winning rides this all-weather season have been supplied by Newmarket trainer Nick Littmoden, for whom Doyle rides out for on a regular basis.
They include the progressive three-year-old Prince Charlemagne, on whom Doyle has rattled off a sensational four-timer and contributed the third leg of an amazing 392/1 treble for the jockey at Lingfield on January 25.
In second place in the Apprentice Jockeys’ table is Paddy Mathers, whose prize comes to £2,000. He has ridden 15 winners and accumulated a total of 105 points.
The Bet Direct All-Weather Owner trophy for the 2005/2006 all-weather season has been won by Nigel Shields.
His success, with trainers that include Nick Littmoden and Karl Burke, has seen him secure 16 winners during the all-weather season and more than £200,000 in prize-money.
Bravo Maestro carried Shields’ familiar white and yellow colours to victory in the £50,000 betdirect.co.uk Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton on Saturday, March 11, while the likes of Speed Dial Harry and Fusili have also been prolific winners for the owner.
Leading Amateur Jockey - Simon Walker
Simon Walker has taken the Bet Direct All-Weather Amateur Jockey trophy after securing a total of 18 points.
It is the first time that the 31-year-old has been the leading amateur rider on the all-weather, having taken the turf title on four occasions.
He was most recently seen to good effect on Sugitani in the Littlewoods £2m Pools On 0800 500 000 Amateur Riders Handicap (Div 1) at Wolverhampton on March 6, deputising for owner-rider Martin Bailey to score by an easy seven lengths.
All-weather Horse of the Season
Fyodor, trained by William Haggas, has been voted the 2005/2006 All-Weather Horse of the Season by readers of the Racing Post.
The five-year-old gelding, a son of champion two-year-old Fasliyev, has enjoyed a tremendously successful campaign, where his ultra-consistent and progressive form over five furlongs has seen him win three times and finish second twice.
After starting the season with second place in the Littlewoods Betdirect Handicap on the Polytrack at Lingfield on November 12, Fyodor went on to land his next two races on Fibresand at Southwell.
He beat eight opponents in the Bet Direct Freephone 0800 211 222 Handicap on December 6, quickening smartly to score by a length and a half, and followed-up in the Happy New Year From Bet Direct Handicap on January 1, defeating Yomalo in ready fashion by three-quarters of a length.
On his next appearance, in the betdirect.co.uk Handicap at Lingfield on February 4, he went down by just half a length to the Tim Pitt-trained Les Arcs, another big improver over the minimum trip on the all-weather this season.
He then raced at Wolverhampton on February 18, in the Betdirect Freephone 0800 211 222 Handicap, where Fyodor showed his fighting spirit to prevail by a short-head from Qadar, getting up right on the line having been short of room a furlong from home.
He was the half-length second in the betdirect.co.uk Sprint (Saturday, March 18) today at Lingfield.