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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Platoon commander gunning for more success before Italian campaign

Lieutenant Billy Aprahamian: hopes to be celebrating once again at Wincanton
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3.50 Wincanton
McCreery Military Amateur Riders' Handicap Hurdle (sponsored by John & Doone Chatfeild-Roberts) | 2m4f | 4yo+ | RUK

What's two and a half miles if you're about to tackle a thousand? That's how it is for Irish Guard and amateur jockey Lt Billy Aprahamian, who bids to repeat last year's win in the military race at Wincanton on Sunday.

He hopes a bold showing on Mortens Leam will help raise the profile of a huge charity fundraising event he is about to embark on with his brother Charlie.

In July they will begin a 1,000-mile bike ride, cycling 100 miles a day, from the northern tip of Lake Maggiore in Italy to Chudleigh in Devon, where their sister Harriet lives at the Home Orchard Care Home.

They aim to raise funds for a new sensory room, and Aprahamian said: "Our much-loved sister Harriet was born with an unknown learning disability, which means she needs full-time care.

"Six years ago mum found Home Orchard Care Home and this is now Harriet's favourite place in the world. It's a truly wonderful place, they take such good care of our sister, and we felt it was time to give something back."

Aprahamian, 28, is a machine gun platoon commander currently on ceremonial duty at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

He rides out for Nicky Henderson – for whom he won the Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown on Baden last month.

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Aprahamian rode his first winner on Mighty Missile in this race 12 months ago and, asked about prospects of a repeat on the Michael Hawker-trained Mortens Leam, he said: "I wouldn't say he's without a chance.

"It's a more competitive race than last year but, on his winter chasing form and a mark of 118, he shouldn't be too far away."

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They take such good care of our sister and we felt it was time to give something back
E.W. Terms
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