Rising star who hopes Brighton meeting can re-boot career

Hayley Turner is still recovering from chipping her pelvis and fracturing three bones in her back
Hayley Turner is still recovering from chipping her pelvis and fracturing three bones in her back

Harry Bentley believes Brighton can help re-boot his bid for the big time.

Harry Bentley believes Brighton can help re-boot his bid for the big time.

The Sussex jockey was a rising star as an apprentice, coming close to lifting the championship title.

And when he sealed a deal with mega-rich Ahmed Al Sheikh Fahad from Qatar he seemed to be on his way.

But Bentley, 22, has struggled to take off in his second full year riding off the same weight as his rivals.

And he knows he needs to step up the wins-to-rides ratio. That is where Brighton – the track which saw Bentley finish second on Cherry Princess this week - steps in.

He told Brighton and Hove Independent: “This year has been difficult so far. I’ve got a good retainer with Sheikh Fahad.s

“He has a lot of horses but not many running and I’m only second jockey to Jamie Spencer. It is quite difficult getting spare, outside rides. A lot of people are in the same boat.

“I always knew it would be hard when I lost my claim. You are on a level playing field with the likes of Ryan Moore and Richard Hughes.

“Yet how hard has surprised me to an extent because if you get a retainer you would think it would make it easier.

“But Brighton has been quite a lucky track for me even though it is a hard one to ride. Cherry Princess ran well. At a good gallop. I don’t mind riding Brighton as I can get a few more winners. Once you start getting a few firsts, especially in big races, things snowball.

“I’m still hungry to make it to the top.”

Hayley Turner is another rider at Brighton this week who has had a quiet year.

Her career has slowed since chipping her pelvis and fracturing three bones in her back last September. She bagged a second and a fourth at the Racehill meeting.

Upper Beeding handler Gary Moore, with a base in Brighton and father of superstar pilot Ryan, ensured the county a victory through Birdie Queen.

Brighton Racecourse stages an evening meeting on Tuesday, July 8, with the first race at 5.40pm. For more information, visit: www.brighton-racecourse.co.uk.