Welcome Patrick Pilley

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We are lucky in Melbourne to watch and use a number of talented apprentices who make their way through the Victorian apprentice program. These talented apprentices are much sought-after, especially in the Summer and Winter periods.

Each Summer, Australia also welcomes riders from the U.K. who seek to further their careers with experience of riding on our shores. At Blackiston Racing, we are thrilled to welcome Patrick Pilley for a three month period, on loan from Geoffrey Deacon.

Despite his nickname of “Paddy”, he is not Irish! English born and raised, Patrick’s Uncle was an amateur jumps jockey in U.K., prompting Patrick to start riding pony racing and then out on the gallops at the age of 12yrs on weekends and holidays, with trainer Martin Bosley.

Upon gaining his apprentice licence at the age of 16yrs, Patrick was fortunate to receive the opportunity to ride at the stable of one of U.K.’s most respected trainers, Mick Channon, at Newbury. Mick was glowing in praise of Patrick, ahead of his sojourn in Australia.

“Paddy has worked for me since June 2013 as an apprentice jockey. He is enthusiastic and has bags of talent. He is a very good rider, works hard and is a valuable member of my team” – Mick Channon

In recent months, as part of his education program aimed at getting the most amount of experience with different trainers, Patrick transferred to Geoffrey Deacon. But not before a fantastic experience in Florida riding out for Eddie Kennelly.


Patrick won the apprentice hands and heels series in the U.K. last year. Throughout this series Jockeys attended mandatory course walks with one of the BHA Jockey Coaches, and were awarded place points based on their finishing position in each race. The Series conditions prevented Jockeys using their whips, but they can pull the stick through as often as necessary.

“The Hands and Heels Series are paramount to helping these young Jockeys develop their riding skills and strength. It was a strong series with some very talented young sportsmen and women taking part. A huge well done to Paddy Pilley on winning the Series. He has shown not only a good professional attitude to race riding but a strong technique in riding a finish.” – Richard Perham, Senior Jockey Coach for The British Racing School

Patrick follows in the heels of accomplished riders Oisin Murphy and Kieran Shoemark, and various other talented rides from the U.K who have all ridden with success in Australia over the Summer period. In fact we thank Oisin in particular for his advice and referral of Patrick to us.

To date Patrick has had more than 400 rides for 33 wins and 91 placings. Has has ridden for more than 50 different trainers at more than 30 different racetracks in the U.K.

Thanks to Terry Bailey for his interview below.


Patrick rides comfortably at 52kg, and is available for rides in Victoria. Please contact Nigel directly on 0409 252 280 to discuss.