THE LINE KING! Kid Maurice can showcase his talent on Sentimental journey in our race.
LOOK OUT for a name to remember in the Mirror Punters Club Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (12.45) at Sandown today.
Our race is the starting point of a 10-race series that leads to the Grand National meeting at Aintree in April.
And by the time of the world's greatest steeplechase you should be familiar with claimer Maurice Linehan, who partners Sentimentaljourney for trainer Jonjo O'Neill and owner JP McManus.
Linehan, 20, looked a potential star of the future when landing a gamble on the O'Neill-trained Tarvini in the famous McManus silks at Huntingdon last Sunday.
The punt, from 4-1 to 5-2, looked to have gone west as Linehan's mount needed to be urged along at the back of the field with over a circuit to run.
But Linehan, son of a pointto-point trainer in Fermoy, Co Cork, never gave up.
Relentless throughout the final half of the three-mile, two-furlong race, he looked every inch the equal of his professional rivals as he forced Tarvini's head to the front in the final strides to net the money.
"It was only my second ride for the boss (O'Neill), and after pushing him for so far it was a great thrill to cross the line in front," says the modest Linehan, first influenced by Norman Williamson and Adrian Maguire before finding inspiration in the diverse styles of Tony McCoy and Paul Carberry.
The fact McCoy and Linehan have the same employer comes in handy - there's no better man to steer a young rider in the right direction than the winningmost jump jockey in turf history.
"'AP' would help you any way you need," adds Linehan, who rode one winner under Rules in his homeland before relocating.
"A few times he has been schooling and he has said a few words and given me a bit of advice. It's amazing to have a guy like him around. The conditionals' title is a bit out of my reach, but I'd like to have a crack at it, anyway. Hopefully if I keep my head down, the opportunities will arise and I can get established."
Linehan bids to fill McCoy's boots after the 16-time champion drove Sentimentaljourney to victory at Ffos Las at the beginning of last month.
"I've ridden him a few times at home, and he seems to be going nicely," observes the jockey, able to claim a valuable 8lb allowance this afternoon. "With a bit of luck he should have a good chance."
Sure to lack nothing in assistance from the saddle, SENTIM ENTAL-JOURNEY looks a sound bet to follow up his win at Britain's newest racecourse.
mobt Having qualified for a handicap mark in three starts at two miles, the four-yearold put in a personal best as he tackled two and a half for the first time.
The handicapper has weighed in with a fi t h 6ta ath to 6lb rise for Sentimentaljourney's three-anda-half-length call - but that may not be enough to stop him going in again.
SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS A CONDITIONAL JOCKEY? Conditional jockeys are the jump racing equivalent of Flat racing's apprentices. To compensate for their initial lack of experience and success in comparison to fully licensed riders, young jump jockeys claim a weight allowance at the beginning of their career. Conditional jockeys must be aged over 16 - but under 26 years. Generally they claim 7lb until they have ridden 20 winners, 5lb until 40 and 3lb until 75.
RACING'S RISING STAR Maurice Linehan poses for the camera following Tarvini's victory at Huntingdon CIPSUMS tem iritgg lor sus CIPSUMS tem ir irit it itgg gg gg gg gg gg gg lor or or or sus us us us WINNING WAY Sentimentaljourney hits a hurdle hard but AP McCoy still brought him home in front at Ffos Las last time