'I'm not nervous, I'm ready' – Meet the next big thing in racing, 17-year-old jockey ready with £100k ride on Saturday

YOUNG gun jockey Harry Davies has swapped the school books for the saddle and is ready for the biggest day in his young career.

The fresh-faced 17-year-old has been called up to ride Modern News in the Lincoln for powerhouse trainer Charlie Appleby.

Most kids Davies’ age are sneaking into the boozer or chasing their first girlfriend but Davies is already in demand from the biggest yards in Britain and the only apprentice on Andrew Balding’s books.

Balding has brought through the likes of Will Buick and Oisin Murphy and promised Davies a spot on his roster years ago.

Amazingly Davies is yet to ride a race on the grass in his short 32-ride career, but is buzzing at the opportunity to partner one of the Lincoln favourites for racing royalty Godolphin.

Davies said: “I’m not nervous yet, just excited. It’s a great opportunity and I cannot thank the people involved enough.

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“I rode a winner for Mr Appleby at Kempton and was told then there might be a chance of getting a shot in the Lincoln.

“It was confirmed last week and then I rode the horse at his yard earlier this week. He’s a classy horse and I can’t wait.”

Davies finished school last summer after completing his GCSEs and was always set on a career as a jockey.

He’s already rode nine winners and plenty of big name trainers view his 7lbs claim as a steal.

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He said: “I’ve not ridden on the grass yet but it doesn’t worry me. The all weather races are a good place to learn, the racing is tight and you have to be smart.

“I’ve had a great start and I’ve caught a lot of people’s attention, which is brilliant, but I have to be clever about it and not waste my claim too quickly.

“It’s still very early days but I’d love to be champion apprentice this year, that’s probably my target for the season ahead.

“But down the line I want to try and repay the faith people like Mr Balding have shown in me and ride big winners for them on the big stage, that’s the dream.

“I’ve spoken to James Doyle about the horse and I’ll have a chat with Mr Appleby before the race about tactics.

“There are so many great jockeys in the weighing room at the moment but I think Will Buick is just brilliant.”

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