Fuller turns professional after ending campaign with second amateur crown
Page Fuller will start a new chapter in her riding career next week when she turns conditional having ended the most recent campaign as the season's outstanding jumps amateur.
Fuller, 22, will be crowned champion lady amateur for the second successive time at Stratford on Friday, the final day of an amateur jumps season in which her tally of 16 wins is better than any amateur in 2017-18, male or female.
Those successes, which include an outstanding ride from the front on Monbeg Theatre in the Pertemps Network Long Distance Hurdle at Haydock, have led Fuller to go back on a decision this time last year not to turn conditional.
"I know I said before that I wouldn't go professional but the season has gone better than I ever thought it would," she said. "I've had a lot of support from Jamie Snowden and thought if not now I never would do.
"I thought I might get some better rides as an amateur this season but I wasn't able to pick up any rides at Cheltenham and the best rides were against professionals. I thought if I can pick them up as an amateur I can do that as a professional and enjoy the rewards as well.
"I've never had a problem with the difference between female and male riders. People like Jamie and Chris Down have taken me on my merits, because of the way I ride, not whether I'm a girl or not."
Fuller, who is coached by professional jockey Dave Crosse and will become Snowden's conditional, has two rides at Stratford on Friday. The first is Monsieur Gibraltar, part-owned by Paul Nicholls, who would have been a mount for Lorcan Williams but runs in a hunter chase restricted to lady amateurs. The former Nicholls-trained Mon Parrain, now with Kim Smyly, is Fuller's ride in the Horse and Hound Cup.
It will be a nail-biting evening for Williams, whose 12 wins puts him top in the gentleman's standings, but he has no rides on the card while rivals Zac Baker (11 wins) and Alex Edwards (ten wins) have two and five mounts respectively.
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