Jasper Franklin is poised to be crowned Rising Star Series Champion when he ventures to Goulburn for the final Heat on Thursday (16 February).
Franklin heads into the final round boasting a 7-point lead from nearest rival, Shayleigh Ingelse.
Regardless of where Franklin places, or even scratched, he will secure a minimum of one point which should clinch his first Apprentice Series title.
“I’m stoked to be heading into the final Heat as the Series leader,” Franklin declared.
“It was one of my goals to win this Series after trying hard to compete last season but didn’t have much luck.”
The 19-year-old ensured he had every chance to win and travelling was not an issue.
“I was having to travel 6 hours or more from Coffs Harbour to Scone, Tamworth and Warwick Farm,” Franklin said.
“After the first two heats I saw myself in a winnable position but was mindful that to beat the likes of Dylan Gibbons and Tyler Schiller that I would have to travel a bit.
“Once I won the Taree heat (December 18th) I started to believe I could win this.”
The Rising Star Series, which was launched in 1999/2000, is open to NSW and ACT indentured apprentice riders and has an honour roll including Jenny Duggan, Mikayla Weir, Andrew Adkins and Sam Clipperton.
Grafton hosted the first Heat of the 2022/23 Series on November 2nd and 45 apprentice jockeys have already contested the 15 Heats run across New South Wales.
Racing NSW Head Jockey Coach, Corey Brown, said the Rising Star Series is a good launching pad for apprentice jockeys to further their careers.
“I think it’s a really great concept for the kids,” Brown said.
“It’s pleasing that they all get involved and bounce off one another throughout the Series.
“The feedback that I’ve had from all apprentices this year, especially the frontrunners Jasper and Shayleigh, has been promising and its just been a great competition for all riders.”
The final Rising Star Heat will be run as Race 5 at 3:55pm at Goulburn on Thursday.
Points are awarded for each Rising Star Series Heat on the following basis: First Place – 7 points; Second Place – 5 points; Third Place – 3 points; Fourth Place – 2 points; All other placings – 1 point.
In the case of a dead heat, the effected placing’s points shall be added together then divided by the number of dead heaters.