Britain’s national novice men’s champion Jack Tudor wasted no time in riding a winner after becoming a conditional jockey early last week.
On Saturday at Market Rasen he gained his first ride for Grand National-winning trainer Dr Richard Newland and capitalised on the opportunity by driving Capitoul to victory in a hurdle race for conditional and amateur jockeys – the third horse, Skeaping, was ridden by Luca Morgan, another rider who made a notable mark on the point-to-point circuit last season and has since become a professional jockey.
Tudor, 17, who is based with South Wales trainer Christian Williams, said of Capitoul: "He travelled away and won nicely. Turning in [to the home straight] I knew he was going well and had that little bit of class. Dr Newland wasn't at the meeting, but I spoke to him while driving home and he was delighted.
"I believe Dr Newland rang Christian to see if I was available for the ride and [jockeys' agent] Dave Roberts sorted things out. Dave spoke to me when I was an amateur and said, 'If ever you decide to turn professional let me know' and it was nice to think he was looking and watching. He seemed the best option so I'm on his books and he's getting me rides."
Reflecting on his decision to become a conditional jockey, Tudor, who rides Moreece at Newton Abbot (7.35) today for trainer John Flint, said: "I was quite undecided until the last moment – I had enjoyed such a good season point-to-pointing and was wondering whether to stay amateur for another year, but people were ringing up asking me to ride under Rules.
"Dad [former rider and now point-to-point trainer Jonathan] was quite keen on another season of pointing, but the more we talked about it and listened to other people the more it made sense to think about becoming a conditional. I hope it works out."
Tudor first rode in point-to-points in the spring of 2018 after turning 16, but after making a rapid start with four quick winners guarded his novice status for an attack on the Fuller's-sponsored championship last season. He broke his leg in a rare accident at Howick in December when a loose horse cannoned into him, but returned to action in February and soon had a stranglehold on the title, which he won with 22 victories.
He will collect his trophy for that triumph at the National Dinner & Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Tattersalls, at Cheltenham racecourse on Thursday, November 14, the eve of the three-day Open meeting.