*** ----> Loughnane set for flying visit to Bahrain | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Loughnane set for flying visit to Bahrain

TDT | Manama                                                    

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Teenage riding sensation Billy Loughnane is taking time out from his bid to win the UK All-Weather Jockeys’ Championship to ride in Bahrain on the opening day of the Bahrain Turf Series today.

After a typically busy day yesterday with four rides at Chelmsford City, the 17-year-old will jump on an overnight flight to Bahrain for what will be his first ride outside of Europe, having previously ridden in the UK and Italy, when competing in two races in the Bahrain Turf Series, where each race is worth $80,000.

This time last year, Loughnane was reflecting on riding his first career winner on 28 November at Wolverhampton. He went on to ride over 100 winners in the 2023 season and was crowned UK champion apprentice.

In May, he became the youngest jockey since Lester Piggott to ride in a British Classic when partnering Sweet Harmony in the Group 1 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. Currently leading the All-Weather Jockeys’ Championship with 22 winners, closely pursued by Rossa Ryan and Oisin Murphy, Loughnane will forego an eight-race winter floodlit meeting at Newcastle for the warmer climes of Rashid Equestrian and Horseracing Club.

He then flies back to the UK to ride at Wolverhampton on Saturday evening. Loughnane said: “It will be my first ride in the Middle East and I am really looking forward to it. I have been to Dubai on holiday but riding in Bahrain will be a new experience.”

Loughnane has been booked to ride the three-year-old Thunder Moor for trainer George Boughey, the source of more winners to Loughnane than any other trainer, in the Al Manama Cup, which is the first race in the sprint division of the Bahrain Turf Series.


Loughnane and Thunder Moor are one of ten international contenders in the 18-strong field racing over 1,000m (5f ). Boughey, trainer of Thunder Moor, said: “We have had this race in mind for a while now, ever since he (Thunder Moor) won over a straight five furlongs in a competitive Racing League race at Southwell.

There is plenty of pace on paper, which should suit as he is a strong stayer at this trip and we hope he will run very well.” Loughnane also partners Simply Sondheim in the 2,000m (10f ) Al Muharraq Cup, the first race in the middle-distance division. Simply Sondheim was a multiple winner for Boughey prior to changing hands at the October Tattersalls Horses-in-Training sale for £135,00 and joining George Baker.

Today’s events will be the gelding’s first start for his new handler and Baker once again has brought a strong team of horses to campaign in Bahrain. In all, 14 go to post for the Al Muharraq Cup, nine of which are international contenders. Running from December through to February, the Bahrain Turf Series provides opportunities for internationally trained runners (rated 85-100) to compete against local Bahrain based horses across 10 races.

Each race is worth $80,000 with bonus cash prizes for the horses accumulating most points in the two divisions, sprint and middle distance. Launched in 2021-22, today marks the start of the third edition of the Bahrain Turf Series. The series runs alongside the domestic programme in Bahrain with international horses competing in the series also eligible to run in other Bahrain Turf Club races open to imported horses.