Leading South Island apprentice jockey Yogesh Atchamah.  Photo: Race Images South

Atchamah out to defend premiership title

Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk
10 June 2024

Reigning Champion South Island Apprentice Jockey Yogesh Atchamah looks to have a fight on his hands to retain his title this season.

The Christchurch-based rider brought up his 20th win for the season aboard Lippy for his employer Andrew Carston at Phar Lap Raceway on Sunday, doubling his previous season’s tally.

“I was just listening to Andrew’s instructions,” Atchamah said. “He told me to ride him patient and not to rush when the gates open. He said there was a lot of pace in the race, so just to sit quiet and wait until the 400m and ride for luck.”

While he has far exceeded his deeds from last season, the victory has brought him to level terms with fellow Riccarton apprentice Donovan Cooper, and with less than two months to go in the season, their rivalry is just starting to heat up. However, Atchamah said he isn’t getting caught up in the premiership race.

“I am really pleased with the way I am going at the moment. I just want to improve a bit more,” he said.

“I don’t want to put myself under too much pressure. If I get it, I get it, and I will be very happy.”

Atchamah is hoping to improve his win tally at Riccarton’s synthetic meeting on Wednesday prior to carrying out his suspension from Thursday.

“I have got good rides on Wednesday including Peecee Pussycat, I am really looking forward to riding him,” he said.

Looking to the rest of the season, Atchamah said his primary aim was to out ride his three-kilogram claim and to continue to improve his riding skillset.

“I just want to out ride my claim before the season ends. I will be very happy if I make it,” he said.

“I just want to improve myself. I have got a lot of help from my riding master Jason (Laking).”

While firmly focussed on the current season, Atchamah is also looking forward to reuniting with some of his favourite horses in the new term.

“I really like a horse I was riding for Kelvin Tyler called Go Lotte. This horse gave me a very good feeling,” he said.

“I am also looking forward to Mogul. He is spelling at the moment, but I am looking forward to him coming back.”

Testing his talent in the North Island is also something Atchamah would like to do in the future.

“If I get my chance, I would like to ride up north too, but I want to build myself up here for the moment,” he said.

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