Leading Welsh rider Isabel Williams is hoping to get off the mark as a conditional jockey at Fontwell on Sunday.
Williams, 22, the daughter of leading licensed trainer Evan Williams – a former British national point-to-point men's champion – came within centimetres of making a winning start as a professional when second, beaten a nose in a hurdle race at Bangor last week. Her mount on that occasion, the mare Carpool, finished second on her only start in a point-to-point at Trecoed last season.
Ahead of two rides at Fontwell for her father, Williams spoke of her decision to become a conditional jockey, saying: "I adore point-to-pointing and am so glad I went down that route. It has given me so many fun memories, and it was an opportunity to ride so many lovely horses.
"It also did me a lot of good – you can make mistakes and learn the job, whereas under Rules those mistakes are there for everyone to see. I'll also miss pointing because it's a family thing, I rode for my mum and grandmother, and I made so many friends.
"However, I enjoy riding under Rules, too, but once you have had 75 rides against professionals the owners have to pay a fee, although you, as an amateur, don't get it. If they have to pay that fee they might as well book a professional jockey."
Williams rode 17 winners during three seasons on the pointing circuit, including three last season on Hold Court, who is owned and trained by her paternal grandmother, Mary Evans. She came within inches of landing a national title in the 2017/18 season when riding eight winners and finishing runner-up to Alice Stevens for the Fuller's novice women's championship.
Of Hold Court, Williams said: "He's a legend, and won seven races for my nan. He's hardly been out of the first three. She adores him, and would have him in the front room if she could."