Champion apprentice makes move to join Palmer expansion
Hugo Palmer will have first call on the services of champion apprentice Josephine Gordon this year as part of expansion plans for 2017, which involve a new second yard on Newmarket's Hamilton Road.
As well as Palmer's current base at Kremlin Cottage Stables, which houses over 100 horses, the Classic-winning trainer is expected to fill a 50-box facility nearing completion next door to Marco Botti's former home at Green Ridge Stables.
Gordon was a regular sight among the Palmer ranks on work mornings last year and recently moved to Newmarket to take up the offer of going on the books of a trainer for whom she has ridden 12 winners from just 44 rides.
Although not employed as official stable number one, Gordon can expect to pick up plenty of rides as many of Palmer's owners do not currently have their owned retained jockeys bar Al Shaqab [Frankie Dettori] and Godolphin [James Doyle and William Buick].
Gordon said: "It's an exciting opportunity to join Mr Palmer and hopefully one I can take with both hands. I recently completed a move to Newmarket to take up the offer and hopefully I can ride out for other trainers when I'm around as I did last year. I've also picked up some rides for Ed Dunlop of late and hopefully I can ride out for Sir Michael Stoute one day a week as I did last year."
In her push for the apprentice crown last summer, Gordon lost her 3lb claim, something that has not seemed to stem the flow of winners and is even something that may help in her new arrangement.
She said: "I think it was hard for Hugo to get a claimer to ride for some of his bigger owners last year who, understandably, wanted a more established jockey but now I've ridden out my claim it should be easier. I've already ridden for the likes of Khalid Abdullah, Godolphin and Mr Araci and hopefully can do so again."
Gordon, who on Saturday rode her fourth winner of the year at Lingfield, added: "I plan to ride on the all-weather here through the winter and then on to the turf season, depending where Hugo wants me. It's an up-and-coming yard and hopefully we can have another big year."
Gordon will be in familiar company in her new role as her agent Phil Shea rides out for the stable and his wife Angie is Palmer's head lass.
Phil Shea said: "Hopefully Josie can ride the majority of the horses at Hugo's as he has a nice spread of owners. It's a big year for her and I think she has the potential to be even bigger than Hayley Turner."