'I'm going to be box-walking!' - Laura Pearson taking month off to protect claim
Laura Pearson has been the star apprentice on the all-weather this winter, but she will not be seen in action this month after taking the decision to protect her claim for the turf campaign.
Based with Newmarket trainer Tom Clover, the 19-year-old's career has clicked notably into gear in the past three months with 22 victories, and she holds a six-winner gap over Darragh Keenan in the all-weather apprentice title race.
Marco Ghiani is one behind Keenan in the standings, which come to a close on April 2, and Pearson, after discussions with Clover and her agent Steven Croft, is leaving the option open to return on the all-weather from March if she is still in contention for the title.
However, her ultimate aim is the apprentice championship on the turf, won by Cieren Fallon for the last two years.
Pearson, who is 23 winners away from having her claim reduced to 3lb, said: “None of us expected to get the ball rolling as well as we have in the past few months and in late December I had a chat with Crofty and we thought I may take a pull in mid-February.
“We've now decided I won't ride in February, but I should be back in March. I’ve had a nice run of things and am confident I’ve built a bit of a gap in the championship table, but if Marco or Darragh go a few ahead of me I can return to try to chase them down.
“It would be brilliant if I could win the all-weather apprentice title, but the apprentice turf championship is the main priority.”
Pearson boasted a 30 per cent strike-rate in December, riding 11 winners from 37 rides, and she is keen to maintain the contacts she has gained during her golden run.
She said: “It's been great to be able to sit on all the horses I have and to have had the support of many trainers and owners – it’s been absolutely incredible.
“It will be horrible watching the all-weather racing from home this month – I’m going to be doing some box-walking – but I’ll keep myself busy and will be in the gym at Peter O’Sullevan House every day, and on the simulator with my coach.
“I hope to come back with a stronger mental attitude and to be stronger physically too. I’ll be riding out for Tom and hopefully Mr Loughnane, Mr Beckett and Mr Fahey if I can, while it's handy being in Newmarket as I can pop off to ride work for people.
"I’ll be looking to keep my name fresh in their minds, rather than just being on a racecard.”
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