Platoon commander gunning for more success before Italian campaign
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.
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."
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com