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Former Sheppey man Ryan Hill clinches the apprentice title in Australia

Horse racing stock
Horse racing stock

Ryan Hill completed a memorable season Down Under after clinching Western Australia’s apprentice jockey title on Saturday.

The former Sheppey resident, who several years ago opted for a move to Perth, finished the season after banking over $1m in prize money.

Hill, 23, had little time to celebrate the triumph, as the new season started on Wednesday.

"It is a bit quieter at this time of year and I’ll take it easy for a month before cranking it up for the summer," said Hill, who is apprentice to Elva Van Merwyk.

"The next challenge is to try and see if I can retain the title but most people struggle to follow on in the next year.

"I also finished sixth overall over the season and it would be great if I could make the top five.

"It feels good to have won it and it’s a big achievement for me. It has been the plan at the start of the year and it’s been a long hard year working towards it.

"I was surprised how well I did and the aim was to see if I could win it." He ended up with 36 winners, 34 seconds and won eight more races than his nearest challenger.

Hill, a former St George’s primary school and Minster College pupil, started out with trainer John Best in the UK but had little success.

A holiday to Australia led to the chance to ride out there and he hasn’t looked back.

He said: "I’ve had quite a bit of success and the prize money over here is so much better than the UK.

"I can earn the same in a minor race here how much you earn for a major event back home and I’ll probably be looking at staying here after my apprenticeship is over."

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