Amateur jockey Stuart riding high
YARMOUTH Racecourse's assistant groundsman Stuart Patterson is riding high after making his debut in the saddle at one of Britain's top tracks.Stuart had one of the thrills of his life when he partnered Christine Dunnett's trusty servant Gonendunnett in the one mile charity race at Doncaster's Town Moor - home of Britain's oldest Classic, the St Leger.
YARMOUTH Racecourse's assistant groundsman Stuart Patterson is riding high after making his debut in the saddle at one of Britain's top tracks.
Stuart had one of the thrills of his life when he partnered Christine Dunnett's trusty servant Gonendunnett in the one mile charity race at Doncaster's Town Moor - home of Britain's oldest Classic, the St Leger.
It was the culmination of a year's lessons in the art of race riding at the Norfolk trainer's Hingham yard and gallops.
Stuart, 30, who finished seventh in the nine-runner affair, said: 'Gone'n'dunnett normally runs over five or six furlongs, although we got home and finished pretty strong, the ground, which was soft bordering on heavy, ate him up halfway through the race and really took its toll. We chose him because he's one of Christine's racing club horses and is a wise old boy who knew why he was there. I'd been riding him a lot at Christine's.'
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Stuart, who is from Yarmouth, has worked at the racecourse where Christine has had 27 of her 101 winners, for the past three years.
He said he was grateful for the opportunity. 'I had never ridden a racehorse before but working at the racecourse I got to know Christine. I had done little bits and pieces of riding before but never anything like this.'
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He tried to enter the John Smith People's Race at Aintree on Grand National Day but did not get in, so turned his attention to this month's Doncaster event.
His effort raised around �650 in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Stuart plans to carry on riding and work towards obtaining the Amateur Jockey Association's Category B licence which will allow him to enter more races.