Chris Hayes backs HRI change to apprentice system
Three-time champion apprentice and dual Classic-winning jockey Chris Hayes has praised the changes Horse Racing Ireland have made to the apprentice claiming system.
As of Tuesday, apprentices can claim 7lb until riding 30 winners – increased from 20 winners before the change – and 5lb until riding 65 winners – which had been 50 before the change.
Apprentices will still have their 10lb claim reduced to 7lb after riding just three winners and will claim 3lb until riding 95 winners.
It is something of a rarity for a rider to win three apprentice championships, but Hayes did just that between 2005 and 2007 and he believes the latest change to the system is a good one.
He said: "I think it’s a good move. Every year we see apprentices flying through their claims but when the get down to just a 3lb claim, there’s not a lot between them and a fully fledged professional.
“You have to ask yourself, which would an owner or trainer rather use, a 3lb claim or Pat Smullen? I think this change will be a big help with apprentices who would otherwise find themselves in no man’s land.”
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