As apprentice jockey Fred Kersley approaches a career milestone, the talented young rider can add another title to his growing record.
After a race-to-race double at Ascot on Tuesday, Kersley claimed the 2017 Touchstone Farm Rising Stars award in a canter.
Kersley dominated the month-long series, recording 14 wins from 61 rides to finish 75 points clear of his closest rival.
“Touchstone Farm have been great supporters of young riders and it is something we look forward to,” Kersley said.
“It’s a fair system that’s open for metro, provincial and country riders and doesn’t discriminate anyone.
“Young apprentices look up to and respect the series and it’s a realistic award that we can win and be involved in.
“It’s nice to be able to take it off and reap the rewards.”
Indentured to his famous grandfather, Fred Kersley, the teenager has taken giant strides since starting his apprenticeship at Northam last year and is attracting the support of Perth’s leading trainers.
“Over the past three months I have been getting good support,” Kersley said.
“Adam (Durrant) has been putting me on some nice horses and backing me.
“Other trainers see that and follow suit to keep the ball rolling.”
In September, Kersley was recognised for his skills when he scooped two major prizes at Racing and Wagering Western Australia’s (RWWA) Apprentice Awards.
Kersley claimed Leading Outer Provincial Apprentice Jockey and Most Promising Junior Rider.
Former top hoop and current RWWA jockey and fitness coach, John Claite, said Kersley had shown impressive development in the past 12-months.
“He has come a long way and is a progressive talent,” Claite said.
“He has conducted himself very well and is handling the pressure of riding.
“He is going from strength to strength.”
Since breaking the shackles and landing his first winner at Esperance aboard Ripping Yarn, Kersley has progressed to 19 metropolitan victories, one shy of reducing his claim from 3kg to 2kg.
With a surname steeped in WA racing folklore, Kersley has grabbed attention locally, but his profile and achievements has not gone unnoticed or escaped the attention of leading stables in the east.
“It’s definitely an ambition to ride over east, but it’s not something I am thinking about right now,” Kersley said.
“If an opportunity did arise in the future I would look at it and grab it with both hands, but that is for a later time.”
RISING STAR LEADERBOARD