I've made half a million, drive an Audi… and I'm still in school – blistering rise of racing's hottest property | The Sun

BILLY Loughnane has been shooting down his weighing room rivals for fun.

He’s the young gun jockey every trainer is desperate to get on their horses.

His claim, down to just three pounds already, is quite frankly daylight robbery — and Billy The Kid is making the most of it.

The 17-year-old only had his first ride in October and the ink on his GCSE results is barely dry.

But after booting home his first winner the following month he kept punters warm all winter with a bucket load more on the all-weather circuit.

After reaching the half-century last month, he’s now eyeing up a tilt at the Champion Apprentice title just seven months into his career.

His big rivals Benoit De La Sayette and Harry Davies have a combined five seasons under their belt.

Loughnane, son of trainer Mark, became the youngest jock since Lester Piggott to ride in a Classic when getting the leg up in the 1,000 Guineas.

And on Saturday he rides the fancied Totally Charming for George Boughey in the £100,000 Victoria Cup at Ascot.

What were you doing when you were 17? Feel old yet?

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“Things are going alright, I guess,” laughs the teenager, who has been compared to Man City sensation Erling Haaland.

“I only had my first ride in October but then got my first winner a few weeks later and it just kept getting better.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but people have been very kind to me.

“The jockeys have been great, trainers have helped me a lot and I am loving it.”

If his exploits in the saddle weren’t impressive enough, Loughnane has already passed his driving test.

He breezed through his theory test the day he turned 17 and then lost his L-plates just a month later. Is there anything this kid can’t do?

He said: “I’ve bought myself an Audi!

“It gives me a bit of freedom to get to the races. I was keen to get it done before the season really got going.

“I think dad was a bit fed up driving me everywhere!

“The day of my test all I could think of was making sure I got to Lingfield on time.

“But I made sure I didn’t speed! I got the pass and then made it to Lingfield with a spare half an hour.”

The teenage star made his breakthrough on the pony racing circuit and his old man was the first to believe in him.

He gave him his first rides and they were a pair to be feared across the winter. Soon other trainers wanted in and now the likes of George Boughey, Richard Spencer and George Scott regularly use him.

Loughnane, who already has career earnings on the track of just under £500,000, said: “I still ride out a couple of days a week at home with dad.

“But then I go to George Boughey’s one day a week and a few other trainers throughout the week.

“I need to make as many contacts as I can to try and give the championship a real go.

“That’s my big goal this year and I’ll give it my all.

“I’m not technically allowed to leave school until I’m 18 so I’m doing an apprenticeship on the side, too.

“It’s full on, but I’m loving it.”

Loughnane has no shame in telling me he wants to be Champion Jockey one day.

This young lad is confident, but no way cocky, and has his head screwed on.

His team around him have done a great job and the weighing room have welcomed him with open arms.

Loughnane explained: “Firstly I want to win the apprentice title this year, but I definitely want to be Champion Jockey one day, that’s my goal.

“A lot of work has gone in behind the scenes and it has paid off. I really want it.

“I’m quite tall but I’ll stay on the Flat. My dad said I could go jumping but I’m happy.

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“The older guys have been great. Tom Marquand is a role model for me and I look up to him.”

It won’t be long before plenty of rising stars are looking up to you young Billy.

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