Friday, 27 July 2012
: Late starter Jenny Duggan is on the verge of a remarkable win in the Newcastle apprentice's premiership at Broadmeadow on Saturday little more than four months after having her first ride at the track.
Swedish-born Duggan, 33, enters the final meeting of the season with a one win lead over last year's winner Alex Stokes and Sydney's Sam Clipperton.
She has seven mounts, including four for leading trainer Kris Lees, as she strives to fend off Stokes, who has the chance to reclaim the title with five bookings.
Duggan's rides are Mantras (trainer Graham Payne), Innisvale, A Bridge Too Far, Namsarai and Beaufort Gyre for Lees, Juggah Hill (Tas Morton), and Strange Logic (Matthew Smith).
Duggan rode successfully at the picnics as an amateur for a couple of years and won a premiership before deciding to give professional riding a shot earlier this year.
She peeled off 10kg, rode a winner on her first day's riding at Port Macquarie in February and hasn't looked back.
Duggan has ridden 42 winners this season, made up of 20 on country tracks, 12 at the provincials including seven at Broadmeadow and 10 at the picnics before she switched to the professional ranks.
She did not begin riding at Broadmeadow until Newmarket day on March 21.
Duggan, formerly Lindgren, is married to successful amateur jockey Ben Duggan and is apprenticed to his brother, Gosford trainer Adam.
“It would certainly be a wonderful achievement on Jenny's part if she won the apprentice's title at Newcastle and she is very keen to do so,” Adam Duggan said.
“Ben and myself kept telling her she should have a crack at professional riding. Not only did she lose 10kg to ride at the minimum weight, but she has kept herself fit and is very dedicated.
“Jenny rides trackwork every morning and hasn't had to have a sweat since she became a professional rider.
“I'm not surprised at how successful she has been. What she has done in three months might take others 12 months to achieve.
“She deserves every bit of success which comes her way.”
Not only would it be an outstanding feat to win the Newcastle title, it's a safe bet that Duggan would become the “oldest” apprentice to win it.
Stokes will be riding Cutie Express (Darren Smith) Red Hot Beauty, Zarbu and Platinum Quest (Dianne Lumsden) and Universal Exchange for her master Steve Hodge.
Having lost her claim it has been more difficult for Stokes to attract rides whereas Duggan enjoys the advantage of a 3kg provincial allowance.
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