It’s that time of year again when the door opens for Sydney’s young riders to try to make their mark.
Sydney’s major carnival races are over and a lot of the top jockeys are headed to Melbourne to chase the spring features down south.
With that comes the opportunity for the young brigade, the apprentices, to show what they are capable of in Sydney racing.
On Saturday at Rosehill, with most of Sydney’s leading hoops either suspended or riding at the Caulfield Guineas meeting, seven apprentices will be in action on the eight-race card.
Among them will be 17-year-old Sam Clipperton who will be out to build on a promising start to the season which has so far netted five wins in the metropolitan area.
Clipperton has a full book of rides including his first stakes ride in the Listed Angst Stakes (1400m) on the Garry White-trained Shadow Minister.
Clipperton’s master Ron Quinton acknowledged this period provided the young apprentice and his colleagues a great opportunity on the city circuit.
“That’s right, while the big boys are away the little boys play,” Quinton said.
“There’s a great percentage of our jockeys that will be in Melbourne for the next month and that gives the apprentices, not only Sam, a chance and opens the door for them.
“There’s also the likes of Chad Schofield and Shaun Guymer, those three guys are going along well at the moment.”
Schofield, son of top jockey Glyn, rode a winner at Canterbury on Wednesday while Guymer bagged a double at Warwick Farm on Monday.
Clipperton’s five wins has him an early leader in the Sydney apprentices’ premiership over Blake Spriggs, Schofield and Guymer who have all ridden three city winners.
“He’s going along really well, I’m very happy with him, but there’s still a long way to go,” Quinton said of Clipperton.
“He’s going the right way and in the next year he should get a lot better.”