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Riding out your claim is no small feat

Three Pound claimer Daniel Samson is getting plenty of experience on horses from his guv'nor Seamus Mullins, and steered a fifth winner of the season for the Mullins yard this afternoon, and a third for his own tally, at Newton Abbot before making the trip back up the A303 past Larkhill to home.

It's been a good week, or a very frustrating one for the Willsford team, depending on your point of view, with a winner and 3 runner-up berths from the last six runners since Friday. Horses running well augur well for their own moment in front some time hence though.

Sansom cut his teeth between the flags like Seamus, before taking out a Conditional licence in 2013. Over 60 rides resulted in just over a handful of winners , but the switch to the professional ranks has accelerated the trend with 61 winners to date, not too far off the threshold where he loses his claim.

Taking the curtailed season last term into account, the seasonal tally for the West Country rider has been growing quietly, with 17 in 2018-19, but outside rides have been scarce. Maybe that doesn't matter in a yard the size of Mullins, but the record will show that Conditionals that make the grade after losing their claim tend to have achieved a wide circle of support that can stand them in good stead when they have to fly unsupported.

This is no criticism; it's no easy thing making a living as a rider. Even someone of the calibre of Will Biddick chose to drop back into the amateur ranks after a spell as a Conditional, and current conditions make selecting a Conditional even less appealing. Loyal employers like Mullins are to be applauded both for giving youngsters a chance and for nurturing talent from within.

Looks like Sansom would welcome a leg-up from a few more of our Wiltshire brethren. He's certainly capable enough.

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