It was a no-sticks-allowed contest in the Qatar National Stud Apprentice Cup. The SA Jockey

Academy is currently hosting a number of Qatari apprentices who have been riding out in the

mornings although many trainers have been reluctant to use their services, mainly due to a

language barrier.
But they have been well schooled in other areas at the academy and the Apprentice Cup was the

culmination of their South African venture.
Favourite Celebration Rock was possibly an unlucky loser but his rider Salah Salem made a full

tour of the Scottsville straight, his piece de resistance left for last as he cannoned into

eventual winner Harmonica. Riding to instructions from Duncan Howells, Abdulla Rashid kept his

head down and pushed all the way to the line to record an indelible memory, his first race ride

being a winner.
It was something of a rat-race behind these two with no quarter asked and there were a few

heated exchanges amongst colleagues back in the weighing room and a stern talking to by the

stipendiary stewards.