Apprentice jockey Lewis Walsh has swapped Newmarket Heath for the sunshine of Florida for a month-long spell based with leading US trainer, Graham Motion.
Attached to Newmarket trainer David Simcock’s yard, Walsh landed the biggest win of his career to date when he rode the Simcock-trained Breton Rock to victory in the QIPCO Future Stars Apprentice Handicap, the final race at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day.
The victory entitled him to a trip to America where he is now riding out for Graham Motion, trainer of the Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
Motion trains eight horses for Qatar Racing, the racing operation owned by Sheikh Hamad and Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and a subsidiary of QIPCO Holding, sponsors of Lewis’s trip.
Before leaving for the States, Lewis said: “I am very excited. I spent some time in Australia last year and learnt a bit about pace and fractions there. I want to develop the skill of using the clock in my head to judge pace and I have no doubt I will learn a lot more in Florida.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity and such a great prize for a young jockey, I’m really grateful to QIPCO for arranging everything. Riding abroad provides such valuable experience. I was in Italy riding on Saturday and next stop is Florida. I will be back in time for the start of the turf season here.”
The 24 year old first took out a licence in 2010 and rode his first winner at Wolverhampton on the subsequently Group 1 placed Secret Asset.