Racing WA

WA riders challenge Australia’s best in the National Apprentice Race Series 2023

14 February 2023

An exciting team of West Australian apprentice jockeys will take on the top riders from across Australia next month.

Border closures have kept WA riders from the National Apprentice Race Series (NARS) for three years but they will be lining up at the starting gates in Darwin on 4 March.

Apprentices Cassey Martinan, Brayden Gaerth, Luke Campbell, Victoria Corver, Keshaw Dhurun and Holly Watson have been selected to represent WA in the 2023 race series.

They will take on talented emerging jockeys nationwide in a collection of races across the Northern Territory, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.

Racing Training Manager Sharyn Lancaster said upcoming riders were eager to get back in the race now COVID restrictions had lifted.

“It’s great to re-join the series, it causes a buzz with the apprentices and they’re raring to go,” she said.

“The National Apprentice Race Series is an excellent opportunity for WA’s rising jockeys to gain experience by riding interstate on different tracks.

“It is a terrific way to expand their learning and involvement in racing as well as a chance to meet apprentices from other states.

“We’ve chosen the team based not only on their riding abilities and who we think will do well in each state but also as a reward for hard work, overall conduct and attitude throughout the year.”

WA won the series in 2016 and 2017 and the new team hopes to snatch the title back from last year’s winner, South Australia.

Following the first heat in the Northern Territory on 4 March, WA will host the second round at Belmont Racecourse on 15 March. Apprentices compete in two race legs in each state.

  • Heat 1 Saturday 4 March: Leg one and two NT (Darwin) – Cassey Martinan
  • Heat 2 Wednesday 15 March: Leg three and four, WA (Belmont) – Brayden Gaerth
  • Heat 3 Sunday 19 March: Leg five and six, TAS (Hobart)– Luke Campbell
  • Heat 4 Wednesday 22 March: Leg seven and eight, SA (Strathalbyn) – Victoria Corver
  • Heat 5 Wednesday 29 March: Leg nine and 10, QLD (Eagle Farm) – Keshaw Dhurun
  • Heat 6 (final) Wednesday 19 April: Leg 11 and 12, VIC (Sandown) – Holly Watson

Other apprentices can compete in the races but only the nominated rider from each state can score NARS points. Nominated riders wear coloured pants representing their state, with WA competing in yellow, Victoria navy, Queensland maroon, South Australia red, Tasmania green and the Northern Territory ochre.

Susan de Ruyter