Bistouri does the honours to set a landmark treble underway for April Howden PPORA Jockey of the Month – Ed Doggrell
A treble at the Portman’s Badbury Rings meeting , and a double at Stafford Cross, for a rider who’d been chasing an elusive second win on UK soil since May 2016 secured the Howden PPORA Jockey of the Month Award for Wessex Rider Ed Doggrell. Previously with Colin Tizzard, Ed now works for Will Biddick, and also has a strong association with Sally Alner both of whom he is quick to acknowledge for their invaluable support.
We spoke to Ed to find out a bit more about the rider who rode his first winner on Virginia Ash at the Cattistock in May 2016, and got the current season underway with unusual landmark for an English rider – a winner in an Irish Point to Point – at Ballindenisk in December.
“I rode a lot of seconds in between December and Badbury Rings , it was getting a bit frustrating, so to get one in front was brilliant and then to get two more on the same day was beyond wildest dreams” he told us. “all family were there watching which made it even better!”
A third generation jockey, Ed has been immersed in horses and racing as long as he can remember his father Mark is a huntsman, and both he and his father Peter both rode in Point to Points, and then went on to train. Ed’s brother Tommy is now in his second season with Philip Hobbs.
“I love the sport, I’ve ridden under Rules and riding Point to Pointing is something different. It’s the way everyone knows each other and people help each other out. There’s the whole social aspect, everyone knows each other, most of my best friends are the people I am in the weighing room with. But when we’re going down to the last fence it’s everyone for themselves and of course I love winning!”
After three years with Colin Tizzard, Ed joined Will Biddick’s yard in the September and he’s quick to credit the support Will’s provided to himself and others
“Will’s been very good to me, he’s introduced me to a lot of people and taught me a lot. He’s very knowledgeable , he’s patient and gives you plenty of time to understand everything. He always helps the younger people in the weighing room he was there once and going into your first races that sort of thing really helps,” said Ed
A sting of placings had followed the initial win, before success on Irish turf on board Carrignapple, a horse who raced in English Points last season, trained first by his owner Cathy Hamilton, and then by Dean Summersby who saddled him for Maiden and a Restricted wins under Darren Edwards.
“His owner’s from Ireland and she took him back there for this season,” explained Ed, “I’d ridden him in two of his early races in England, and she asked me if I’d like to come over to Ireland and ride. The first day at Lingstown he needed the run, but the next time we knew he was bang on. He’s a horse who goes out in front and sets a strong gallop so we let him roll on and luckily he never got headed. It was brilliant to go over and especially to have a winner there!”
The long awaited second success between the flags on English soil came at the Portman’s Badbury Rings meeting in April where Bistouri d’Honore, now the Wessex Area’s leading young horse, won the Novice Riders’ contest. Four subsequent rides on the day yielded 2 further wins, Tom Barton in the Mixed Open and Flights in the Confined. Ending the drought of winners with a landmark treble was, he says, “almost unbelievable”.
The second and third winners were both for Sally Alner, whose influence and support Ed is quick to acknowledge
“I definitely wouldn’t be in the place I am now without her. I did it for 4 years and wasn’t really getting on the right horses, and then I got on a few good ones for her and was finishing in the frame every weekend and I started to get noticed a bit more.”
As a rider on the upward swing, Ed has measured ambitions for this season and beyond, with Lorcan Williams’ decision to turn Conditional looking likely to offer up increased opportunities from the Alner yard, looking ahead he says
“I’ll hopefully ride more for Sally Alner now. With a bit of luck I’ll have one or two more winner before the end of this season, and then the first aim is to try an ride more winners next year than this year.”