Top apprentice Laura Pearson is to take a near two-month break so that she can return for the start of the Flat’s Turf season with her 5lb claim intact.
Pearson announced at Wolverhampton on Sunday that she will not be riding on course again until the Turf season begins at the end of March.
She has been in unstoppable form of late on the all-weather, leading the apprentice jockeys’ title race with 22 winners – six ahead of her nearest challenger Darragh Keenan.
But after discussions with Newmarket trainer Tom Clover and her agent Steve Croft, she has decided to take a tactical time-out – leaving her another 23 career winners before her claim reduces to 3lb once she reaches 50.
She told Sky Sports Racing: “We’ve had a good chat about it, myself and the governor (Clover) and my agent – and you’ve got to look at the bigger picture and save my five for those nice handicaps on the Turf.”
Pearson admits there will be some inevitable frustration as she sits out almost two months of racing.
“I’m going to be ‘box-walking’ … but in the long run, it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
She still has her eye on apprentice titles too.
“I always had my blinkers on for it,” she said of the all-weather championship.
“We’ll see if I can keep my nose in front, and come back and bounce a couple more out if I do get a little bit short.”
Pearson is well aware of the strong competition which is already apparent to become top apprentice – including from John Gosden’s latest find Benoit De La Sayette.
“Yes, I’d love to go for that,” she added.
“There are some incredible apprentices around the place. Benoit has obviously shown how brilliant he is – and Saffie (Osborne) will be coming back from injury.
“It will be tight, but I hope I can get a good crack at it.”
She is thankful for the opportunities she has had so far, since riding just her second career winner in November.
“It’s been absolutely incredible,” she said.
“I’ve just got to keep my feet on the ground and keep my head straight.
“The amount of different trainers who have given me the opportunity to ride for them (means) every day I’m coming out and riding more, and everybody’s helping me.”