Next season, Cumbrian-based Danny McMenamin will be a fully-fledged jockey after he rode the 75th winner of his career at Market Rasen on Sunday.
It means that the 20-year-old, based in Greystoke, near Penrith, will not be able to claim a weight allowance in National Hunt horse races when the new season starts in July, as he will no longer be a conditional jockey.
But until the present season comes to an end in April, he is still able to claim three pounds, and having won 30 times already this term, he is sitting at the top of the conditional jockeys’ championship.
His milestone victory came after partnering the Harry Hogarth-trained Archie Brown to victory at odds of 25-1.
“I didn’t really expect it to be honest, but it was nice that it was a surprise. It was a good day,” says McMenamin in an interview which is due to be published in the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald on Saturday.
McMenamin, who grew up in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, said it’s “brilliant” that he has been able to ride out his claim and thanks everyone who had provided him with opportunities since he joined the Nicky Richards yard at Greystoke in 2017.
As it stands, McMenamin is six winners clear of his nearest rival Bryan Carver in the conditional jockeys’ championship, while Jack Tudor is also in the running, and he admits that chasing pack are “keeping me busy”.
At the start of the season, McMenamin didn’t really have the intention to go for the title, but having got off to a good start, things continued to go right, and he is now in the lucky position that he’s out in front.
“I just have to try and stay there,” said McMenamin, who does not feel that northern racing gets the credit it deserves.
“When Brian Hughes won the champion jockey title last year that was great for northern racing. All being well, if he can hold onto his title, and I’m lucky enough to win the conditional title, it will be great for the north, I think.”