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Enthralling apprentices race in the balance

Sole Power's glorious York triumph wasn't just a first for Eddie Lynam, as Wayne Lordan, one of the most popular and unassuming Flat jockeys in the business, also broke his Group One duck that day.

Fran Berry did likewise when Pathfork denied Casamento in a thrilling National Stakes, but the story of the season is ongoing.

It is the apprentices' championship that continues to enthral.

Ben Curtis (pictured), a latecomer to the racing game, has earned a reputation for being one of the most hardworking young riders in the country. Going into Dundalk last night, he was, against the odds, two clear of the suspended Joseph O'Brien and the reigning champion Gary Carroll, both of whom have rich racing pedigrees and the backing of powerful stables.

If nothing else, the run-in will make Friday nights at Dundalk compelling viewing.

Irish Independent