Apprentice Pilley hoping Charlton link can boost career
Paddy Pilley, who swapped Kempton and Lingfield for Flemington and Caulfield over the winter, is hoping a new association with Roger Charlton can help him make progress in Britain this summer.
The 19-year-old apprentice returned from a winning stint in Australia earlier in the spring and although he has yet to open his account for his new boss, he has already struck twice for Retford trainer Scott Dixon.
Pilley, who was previously apprentice to Mick Channon and Geoffrey Deacon, was based with trainer Nigel Blackiston at Flemington in Melbourne on his three-month visit and hopes that experience can help give him an edge over his fellow apprentices.
“Australia was something I was always keen on doing and Oisin Murphy recommended Mr Blackiston,” said Pilley, who partnered five winners from 60 rides during his stay in Victoria.
“They’re quick out of the stalls out there and then race very tightly, so it was good to learn something different. They also ride to the clock in the mornings and it was a very good experience.
“I did consider staying, but Roger Charlton was advertising for an apprentice and my agent Guy Jewel made an inquiry for me and when the offer was there, I decided to take it.”
Pilley’s best year to date came in 2015 when he partnered 25 winners and he has already forged a good partnership with Dixon, partnering the stable’s Sir Geoffrey and Pearl Noir to victory this month.
Pilly said: “I’m sitting on good horses every morning at Mr Charlton’s and I’m learning plenty. My agent is working hard for me and we’re trying to get the ball rolling.
"I have 12 winners left of my 5lb claim and I’d love to get down to three but the main target is to establish myself again in Britain.”