Jasper Franklin has etched his name in the Racing NSW jockey’s history books after claiming the 2022/23 Rising Star Series.
After finishing second on the John Thompson-trained Squiggles in the final heat of the series at Goulburn on February 16, which was won by the Melissa Harrison-trained and Jess Del Frari-ridden Bobby’s Secret, Franklin was named the overall winner.
Franklin ended up on 31 points, which was 12 points ahead of runner-up Shayleigh Ingelse on 21 points, while Dylan Gibbons, Tyler Schiller, and Molly Bourke all ended in a tie for third on 20 points.
The young hoop was understandably thrilled to get the win.
“It was obviously a good achievement because I was competing against some of the best apprentices in NSW like Dylan Gibbons, Tyler Schiller and those good jockeys from down south, and to come out on top, I am really proud,” Franklin said.
While it wasn’t in his peripherals to start with, Franklin set his sights on the series after enjoying a good start.
“After the first three heats, I found myself in the top-two, and I thought it was a winnable series from where I was, and I thought I’d have a crack at it, and it worked out,” Franklin said.
A product of Northern NSW, Franklin recently made the move to the Mark Newnham yard, and he doesn’t think he will be able to win the series in 2024.
“Since I’m down in Sydney at Mark Newham’s now, I might find myself in the races but without having a country claim, I probably won’t be chasing it as hard as I was this season,” Franklin said.
He won’t mind though, as he now gets to spend the next two seasons learning from one of NSW and Australia’s premier Masters and trainers.
“I’ve been here three weeks now, and it’s good. It took a little bit to get used to, and I’ve never lived in a major city before but I’m starting to enjoy the fast-paced lifestyle,” Franklin said.
“Plus being here, it’s honestly a privilege. Not many apprentices get the opportunity I have now, and Mark is pretty particular with his apprentices, and he is basically the Theo Green of the 21st century, and I’m very excited and privileged to be his apprentice for the next two years.”
The 19-year-old has ridden 80 winners since his first ride and win on Allares in 2021, and he has his sights set on some bigger targets in 2024 and 2025.
“My goal next season is to take out the provincial apprentices premiership and in my fourth year I want to win the metropolitan apprentices premiership,” he said.
Franklin has now added his name to an impressive list of Rising Star Series winners, which includes winners Jay Ford in 2003 and 2004, Sam Clipperton in 2014, and Andrew Adkins in 2017, and Racing NSW Head Jockey Coach, Corey Brown told Racing NSW that the 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 it’s just been a great competition for all riders.”
Jasper Franklin 33
Shayleigh Ingelse 21
Dylan Gibbons 20
Tyler Schiller 20
Molly Bourke 20
Amy McLucas 16
Georgina McDonnell 14
Braith Nock 12
Ellen Hennessy 11
Damon Budler 10