Flying Fuller has title tilt in mind thanks to Crosse's coaching
Jump jockey Page Fuller, who missed a large chunk of the season after breaking her ankle in August, has her sights fixed on being crowned champion female amateur and reckons the support of coach, jockey Dave Crosse, will be crucial to her bid.
Fuller, based with Lambourn trainer Jamie Snowden, was in the unusual position of riding against Crosse at Wincanton on Saturday, when her three rides included a winner and a second.
That took her record recently to 1124120, figures that have moved her above Emma Todd, Amie Waugh and Gina Andrews in the title race.
"The championship runs until mid-June, so there's a long way to go, especially with a lot of hunter chases, but Jamie's supporting me and if I can carry on as I am and reach double figures I'll have a chance," said Fuller, who returned from injury in December.
"There are quite a few of us in the mix, and it takes only a good month to change things, but hopefully I can do it."
Fuller's winner on Saturday came on Shanann Star in a handicap chase, in which Crosse pulled up on Royal Redemption.
"Crossey is very selfless and really wants to see me doing well," she added. "He gets so much satisfaction out of seeing me winning. He was in the same race but was delighted I won. I'm not saying he didn't want to win, but if he didn't, he'd want me to.
"He's all about confidence and gets on my back about fitness and calling trainers - he's a great all-round coach."
Crosse has nearly 30 clients, ranging from a seven-year-old to a 57-year-old, and is determined to make Fuller champion.
He said: "I'd ridden against Page a few times, but it was a fun day yesterday as she'd had a winner and a second and in the other race we were upsides each other for a bit so were chatting away.
"Now I know Page to a tee, I know when she's down and can fill her up with confidence. Before every ride she rings me go to through the race and I tell her she's riding well, so go out there and look as stylish as you can and ride with loads of confidence."
Despite his extra-curricular activities, which also include corporate work at Ascot, Warwick and Windsor, and running a car valeting business, Crosse is still loving life in the saddle.
He remains on a high after winning in front of the ITV4 cameras on Templehills at Warwick recently – the biggest success of his career, in his words – and said: "I'm in my 18th season riding and got a serious buzz last Saturday because that horse's form wasn't great - hence why I ended up riding. I'm only 34 and will be riding for another ten years at this rate.
"That winner shows people you're still alive. I've confidence in my ability and if you keep chipping away the good days will come, because hard work always pays off.
"One target this season would be to make Page champion lady amateur and, for myself, to ride as much as I can.
"I know I'm not going to be champion, but you've got to be happy where you're in the sport, which I am. I'm loving it more than ever."