Highly successful Flat jockey Harry Bentley (20) from Storrington in West Sussex has teamed up with International Sports Management following the biggest double of his career this month, which included his first Group 1 winner.
Harry, who has been in the saddle since the age of four, partnered Naseem to victory in the HH The President’s Cup, the most valuable purebred Arabian contest in the United Arab Emirates.
And he completed a memorable double for Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and trainer Majed Al Jahouri bringing home Thakif in the Group 3 Al Ruwais at the same Abu Dhabi meeting.
He is delighted to become the first jockey to operate under the ISM banner which made its name through guiding the careers of golfers such as Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood and cricketers like former England captains Freddie Flintoff and Michael Vaughan.
He hopes the association will help improve his and the sport’s profile.
Although Harry is guided and managed by his father John, the pair thought it might be a good idea to approach somebody involved in other sports and with broader experience of promoting high profile sporting figures.
“That’s why we went for Chubby Chandler at ISM especially since he has a love of racing,” he said.
“Even though racing is such a large industry, there aren’t many people outside who seem to know a lot about it and the people involved,” added Harry, who clinched his 13<sup>th</sup> winner of the season and second at the Carnival in the UAE this week, where he was the leading apprentice in his first two seasons.
“Ask most people what flat racing is about and they’ll say Frankie Dettori and Lester Piggott”.
Chandler was more than happy to extend his company’s portfolio particularly as it involved helping somebody already tipped to become one of Europe’s finest jockeys. “I met Harry last week and was impressed by both his skills as a jockey and a person,” he said.
“We are delighted to have the chance to help a very talented and nice young man,” added Chandler, whose horse Rerouted, jointly owned with Westwood, was a winner in Dubai last week at a meeting where Bentley was also successful in what is his third winter in The Emirates.
Harry, currently riding for Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Grandstand stables in the Dubai international carnival from January to March, will join the growing racing and bloodstock empire of Sheikh Fahad Al Thani when he returns to England in the spring – as rider for the fledgling yard of Olly Stevens, now installed in a 50-box stable near Chiddingfold in Surrey.
“I can’t remember not riding,” said Harry. “My family’s always been in the game and I’m very appreciative of the support they have given me”.
He was about to go to college when he was 16 to take his A levels, but Horsham trainer Gary Moore encouraged him to get an apprentice licence and offered a few rides.
“It was a big risk to drop out of education, but I took it and so far so good,” he said.