Anthony Thomas getting closer and closer to the title

…champion apprentice opens lead of 24 over rivals after double on Monday

Observer writer

Friday, August 10, 2018

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In-form rider Anthony “St Mary” Thomas is of the view that once he remains fit, healthy, injury-free and getting good rides, a maiden jockey's championship title is not beyond his capabilities.

Although there is just over four months to go in the present racing year, Thomas took a massive step towards winning the prestigious title on Independence Day (August 6, 2018) with a double that leaves former champions Shane Ellis and Dick Cardenas with a lot to do if they hope to deny the young rider of writing his name in the record books.

On Saturday, Thomas won aboard Transition Time in the first race for trainer Rudolph Hardial and Princess Caula for trainer Errol Waugh.

The Saturday winners pushed Thomas year-to-date tally to 65 – 24 more than Ellis in second on 41 with Cardenas in third on 40. Ellis and Cardenas both were winless on the day.

“I feel very good to reach where I am in my profession. I just want to go out there and ride my best at all times. Every horse I mount up on, I always want to win. I am always riding to win and whenever I win, I am happy and grateful for it.

“It would mean a lot to me if I can win this championship, but we still have far to go before we can say it is over. I have to thank the owners, trainers and everybody who have supported me throughout, and also my fellow jockeys, grooms, racing personnel and everybody. I am forever grateful for the assistant and I will continue to work for the winners,” Thomas said.

Thomas started riding at Caymanas Park on September 26, 2015, a year in which he rode one winner. In 2016, little changed for the young man, riding 13 winners.

Significant improvement was made by Thomas in 2017 when he rode 53 winners to finish in second place in the jockey's championship. With that accomplishment, Thomas was voted as the most-improved rider for 2017.

“I just want to remain focussed and continue doing the necessary hard work to ride more winners. Once you have the belief and confidence in yourself, then you can win a lot of races, plus you have to get the best horses as well.

“Another important aspect of riding winners is to maintain one's weight. This plays a big part in winning races,” the 26-year-old Thomas said.

While he is not attached to one stable, Thomas said that securing the rides is not a difficult task for him.

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