BY CHRIS MCNULTY
LETTERKENNY-born jockey Martin Harley has been appointed stable jockey to the powerful Marco Botti yard for 2014.
Botti is the son of Italian champion trainer Alduino Botti. 24-year old Harley will be Botti’s first stable jockey and the move is the latest development in the Donegal man’s career.
Harley will be based at Botti’s yard in Newmarket during 2014, with the move for an initial twelve-month period.
Harley has had mounts for Botti in recent times, finishing unplaced on Guest Of Honour in the Grade 1 Arlington Million in Chicago last month and he was aboard Sugar Boy in the Listed race at Goodwood on Wednesday.
Harley will give up his current role as Mick Channon’s first jockey and will have first pick of around 100 horses at Prestige Place, Botti’s base.
The highlight of Harley’s career to date was last summer when he scored his first Classic win on Channon’s Samitar in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. Harley has been with Channon since 2010, but is looking forward to his new job.
“It’s the sort of job everyone dreams about and I can’t believe what has happened to me over the last three years. I was champion apprentice in 2011, won my first Classic in 2012 and now a year later stable jockey to Marco,” Harley said.
“It was a big surprise when Marco asked me. Mick was very good about it and said it was something I couldn’t refuse. I wouldn’t have been in a position to take such a job if he hadn’t given me a chance. It’s a dream job for anyone as Marco is on the up.”
Trainer Botti has confirmed that Harley will continue to ride for Channon during 2014.
“We are delighted Martin has accepted our offer and we look forward to working together more closely in the future,” Botti said.
“We haven’t been big enough to retain a jockey before now, but as we have expanded the owners were keen to do it as we were having to change our riding arrangements so often.
“Martin will be moving to Newmarket to come and start to get to know the two-year-olds in the coming weeks. It will be great to have him around in the mornings.”
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