HAVING had the experience of a lifetime in American racing is Jayne Farwell, a work rider at Robins Farm Racing Stables at Chiddingfold for Olly and Hetta Stevens. Jayne has just returned from America, where she has been looking after their horse Peace And War.
This filly, owned by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, made headlines when winning the $400,000 Grade 1 Darley Alcinbiades Stakes at Keeneland recently.The prestigious victory by the two-year-old War Front offspring, ridden by Keeneland’s top jockey Julien Leparoiux, qualified her for an expenses-paid trip to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies race. But a decision has been taken for her to by-pass that race.
Jayne, who has a strong racing background, was in America with the filly for several weeks, riding her every day and she rates her time in the USA highly, saying: ” As well as riding her out every day, I was working for Kellyn Gorder and it was the most fantastic experience of my life.
“The way they train out there, training on the race track and doing things so differently, has taught me so much. American racing is so different from the way we run things in England that is has been a big learning curve.”
Jayne grew up with horses, having a pony at home, then doing pony club, hunting and eventing. She worked at weekends for the local hunt, riding and mucking out the horses and then had her first experience of racing was working in Mick Channon’s yard, then in Berkshire, during half terms and summer holidays.
She recalled: “When I was 16, I went to the British Racing School in Newmarket for nine weeks and was given a place at Andrew Balding’s yard in Kingsclere, Newbury. I was there for two years, and went to Australia for five weeks where I worked for trainer Mick Kent, riding out for him and a few other trainers.
“When I came back I joined Gary Moore’s yard at Horsham, West Sussex for two years, getting my apprentice licence, and had about 10 rides before moving to Olly and Hetta.”
Jayne had been there for eight months when she was given this outstanding opportunity to go the America with Peace and War for the run in the Grade 1 race. She added: ” I am so thankful that Olly sent me with the horse. Having the win was unreal and the happiest day of my life. I have met some really good people that I will stay friends with forever.”
Peace And War handled the wet conditions at Keeneland even though it had been expected that she would be racing on firmer conditons, and remains a bright hope for the future.