A PRIZE for the year's champion apprentice jockey is being named in honour of Tom O'Ryan, who lost his battle with cancer earlier in the year.

This year’s Stobart Champion Apprentice will be presented with a trophy named in honour of the former jockey and North Yorkshire-based racing journalist.

Tom, who was a racing correspondent for The Press and sister paper The Gazette and Herald, was also a presenter on Racing UK. He died in August following a short illness.

The trophy, which was funded by sponsor Stobart Group, will be presented to the apprentice who rides the most winners during the Championship period on Saturday 15th October.

Andrew Tinkler, chief executive of Stobart Group, said: “Tom O’Ryan was always on hand to help out young riders when they needed advice and we were delighted to help facilitate his name being associated with the new Champion Apprentice trophy.”

The guidance and support Tom gave to up-and-coming jockeys endeared him to generations of riders starting out in their careers, organisers said. It was this unwavering support of young jockeys that has led to the prize being named the Tom O’Ryan Champion Apprentice trophy.

Paul Hanagan, former champion apprentice and champion jockey, said: “Tom was a racing man through and through and understood the game well and I am delighted to see his name associated with the new Apprentice trophy."