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A losing bet, a dropped whip, and a curse – read on to find out more about the part these played in the Aprahamian Family’s (Bayley’s) dream day

“We didn’t expect that at all – I backed the runner up!” said Charlie Aprahamian  as he joined the family to welcome his brother Billy and Bayley’s Dream into the Winner’s Enclosure,  after an impressive hands and heels success in the third of this season’s Dodson & Horrell PPORA Novice Riders’ Series Qualifiers,  at Horseheath on Sunday

“I said to my brother ‘After we jump the ditch second time and go down into the dip I’ll be right there, but you probably won’t see me coming up the hill in front because as we come back up the hill he’ll have weakened’. That’s what happened in his races last year” explained the winning rider

As the crossed the skyline for the final time Billy began to envisage a different outcome, and then …

“I dropped my whip jumping the ditch the final time, and I cursed to myself  thinking, ‘we’re travelling so well I think I might actually need it this time'”, continued Billy, “I filled him up with air coming down the hill and then as we came off the bottom bend a loose horse came past us, then we passed that and from there on I didn’t look back, hands and heels all the way to the line

It’s hard for a pursuer to make up ground up that hill over the last three fences, mine got them all right and he winged the last.  I could hear Tim (Gredley) and Just Cause reeling me in but I didn’t waste time looking round,I kept my eyes on the post and luckily it came in time”

Bayley's Dream puts in a fluent leap under a hands and heels ride from Billy Aprahamian Photo courtesy and copyright Neil Blackburn www.chasdog.com

                                                         Game and genuine – Bayley’s Dream puts in a fluent leap under a hands and heels ride from Billy Aprahamian
                                                                Photo courtesy and copyright Neil Blackburn www.chasdog.com

Bought from Paul Webber, Bayley’s Dream is owned by Billy’s parents John and Bronwen, and is trained by John  on the family yard in Northamptonshire.  A smaller yard, and time spent getting to know his character, appears to have played a big part in Sunday’s successBilly Alprahamian 1

“He’s a quirky little man, easy to ride, but a bit buzzy at home.  He dances in front of the stable door in the mornings and won’t eat up, so we put him out in the field for an hour and when we bring him back in he’s fine

We spent last year getting to know him and we’ve changed a lot about our approach, we’re not doing as much at home, he’s one of those horses that once he’s fit just needs to tick over.  When he works he works himself very very well, so little and often with him is a much better way the way  to go.  That’s what we’ve done this year and he ran so well today I think we understand him better now. We’ll probably stick to Pointing with him this season, and try to keep him a happy chappy”  

This was a fourth win between the flags for Billy, a Lieutenant in the Irish Guards, who also won the inaugural running of theMcCreery Memorial Military Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle at Wincanton in April last year. His  ambitions for the coming months include rides in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup and  the Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown in February and March


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