YOUNG apprentice Jordan Vaughan could not have made a bigger impression in the opening race to the inaugural Future Champions Day – by winning on his very first ride for North Yorkshire trainer Karl Burke.
The young rider had a very willing partner as Little Lady Katie dug deep into her reserves of stamina to land the Dubai EBF Fillies’ Nursery at Newmarket at 16-1; horse and rider had to outbattle the well-fancied Godolphin runner Pulcinella in a frantic finish in which Vaughan’s seven-pound weight allowance proved crucial.
The 20-year-old, who was previously with Newmarket trainer George Margarson, was only confirmed for the ride 24 hours before the race because he was waiting anxiously for his licence to be approved. Ebor-winning jockey Louis Steward was waiting in the wings.
“This is my first ride for Mr Burke. I moved to him about a week ago. My licence arrived on Thursday so I managed to get on him,” said Vaughan who was recording just his seventh winner of 2014 and his first success for 90 days.
“I knew there was going to be plenty of pace in the race. She stuck on well and responded well to pressure. Mr Burke said he would have a couple of rides at the end of the week, but I didn’t think he meant this.
“To ride against all those jockeys and beat them, it is something else. Most were Grade One-winning jockeys.”
There was little time for Vaughan to celebrate; he had to dash off to Wolverhampton where Gauchita was ninth of 11 runners. However, he will be hoping for better luck when he partners Georgian Bay in Ascot’s concluding Balmoral Handicap today for his new employers.
He wil be buoyed by the praise that he received from Burke’s wife and assistant, Elaine, after Little Lady Katie’s win. “It was great for Jordan to get a winner for us on his first ride and he gave her a cracking ride. She’s very tough and she loves to come through horses,” she said.
The day of upsets culminated with Belardo landing the seven-furlong Dubai Dewhurst Stakes following a withering run under St Leger winning jockey Andrea Atzeni.
Belardo, trained by Roger Varian, could only finish fourth to Estidhkaar in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, and who never recovered from a sluggish start.
“He was a little bit disappointing at Doncaster, maybe the ground was too quick,” said Atzeni.