Local jockey Trevor Whelan just misses a win on his second Flat ride
Jockey Trevor Whelan, who is retained by local National Hunt trainer Neil King at Burderop near Barbury Castle, is trying his hand at the Flat during the summer.
Whelan, who is 28, began his career in Ireland as an apprentice. He is best known for his partnership with the long-distance hurdler Lil Rockerfeller - trained by Neil King.
He told the Racing Post: "I'm naturally quite light and can ride at 9st 6lbs. Neil King has a couple of Flat horses and I'm trying to keep busy over the summer." He has also been riding out for George Baker and Brendan Powell.
On Thursday evening (May 18) he rode Alcatraz in a one-and-a-half mile handicap at Newmarket and came within a head of winning - just missing out to Hermann ridden by Sean Levey for Marlborough trainer Richard Hannon.
Five-year-old bay gelding Alcatraz is trained at the Manton Estate's Barton Yard by George Baker who described the result as an 'agonising second'. Alcatraz has finished second in four of his last six starts, but has only won once in his nineteen Flat races. He goes on any ground, the soft ground was said to be a plus for him.
Writing in his blog, George Baker was honest enough about the horse's temperament: "This horse has been called a few names, even by those pretty close to home, but he definitely tried hard last night. He had every opportunity to shirk the issue, but battled all the way to the line."
Baker was, however, very impressed by Trevor Whelan's 'peach of a ride': "Trevor giving this Flat 'gig' a go through the summer. And, on the evidence of last night's stylish effort, he will be riding plenty of winners."
Someone to keep an eye on as the Flat season proceeds.
There's profile of Trevor Whelan in the marlboroughequestrian.news archive.