Rising Star To Fly SA Flag At Murray Bridge NARS Opener

Rising star Ben Price will represent South Australia in the 2021 National Apprentice Race Series (NARS), which starts in Murray Bridge tomorrow.

The opening two legs of the 2020 series were held in Tasmania and Western Australia in March last year, before the final three legs were postponed in the wake of coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

However, the focus is now on the 2021 opener at Murray Bridge tomorrow, with Price – who only started race riding earlier this year – keen to get his state off to a flyer.

NARS is Australia's premier apprentice-only race series and showcases the riding talents of the country's most exciting young jockeys. First conducted in 2008, the series draws together apprentices from across Australia to represent their state in a collection of races in states and territories.

The NARS event at Murray Bridge is race four on tomorrow's eight-race program.

Price, a 3kg claimer, is riding Ice Ghost in the apprentice-only race, a 1400m, Benchmark 68 event, carrying a purse of $26,800.

He is one of five state/territory representatives in the race, which has attracted nine acceptors.

Only the nominated five jockeys can earn points for their state.

Alice Lindsay, who relocated from South Australia to the Northern Territory last year, is representing the Top End, while Alana Kelly is riding for Victoria, Peter Lui for Tasmania and Tessa Townsend for Queensland.

NSW and Western Australia are not involved in this year's series.

Points are awarded for the top five placings in each leg of the series and Racing SA's apprentice training supervisor Briony Moore said selection is a careful, considered and competitive process.

"We pick it on how they're going in their riding and how they conduct themselves off the track, their professionalism for example," she said.

"They have to earn it. We don't just draw them out of a hat.

"The jockeys love it – it's a bit like, 'Who will go this year?'.

"So, if they haven't been riding well, they know their chances of going are not as high."

In the designated races, each competing rider will wear themed coloured pants:
South Australia – Red
Victoria – Navy
Northern Territory – Burnt orange
Tasmania – Green
Queensland – Maroon

After the Murray Bridge leg, the series moves to Hobart on Sunday 16 May.

South Australia won the 2019 NARS event.


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