NATHAN Evans still doesn’t know if his ‘trial’ is over.

It is two years since the teenager’s arrival at Mick Easterby’s yard and, with nearly 50 wins under his belt, one might have imagined his future was now guaranteed.

Not that the apprentice is complaining.

Evans, 19, is enjoying life at Sheriff Hutton and making waves – winning the Scottish Sprint Cup at Musselburgh on ‘Hoofalong’ and the Qatar Stewards’ Sprint on ‘Hoof It’ at Glorious Goodwood.

The young Irishman rides Arrowtown for Easterby at this weekend’s annual Press Family Sunday at York. He is also hoping for success over the course of the next two days at Haydock on the Easterby-trained trio Bosham, Kalk Bay, and Bowson Fred.

“Things could not be going any better!” Evans told the Press yesterday. “And it’s very encouraging when your boss is confident enough to put you on nice horses.

“I won 12 races last season and when I started this season I just wanted to ride out my 7lb claim (20 wins). I didn’t really have another target. But I have had 34 winners now and I am only four more off riding out my 5lb claim. I suppose that’s when things will start getting tough!

“I never could have dreamed of having so many winners this season,” he added.

“I spoke to the boss when I was in Ireland and he said ‘Lad, come over on a week’s trial, we will see what you are like. If we want you, we will keep you. If not, you can go home.’

“Well, he’s said nothing since – and I am still here – so I guess I am still on that week’s trial. I don’t even know if I have got the job yet but, hopefully, I have been riding enough winners to keep him happy!”

Born and raised in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, Evans’ parents owned an equestrian centre and, during his formative years, he had been mainly involved in showjumping.

His father Paul, however, is a friend of Paul Mulrennan’s and it was the Boroughbridge-based jockey who recommended a move to Yorkshire in order to get into horse racing.

“My mother wasn’t too happy with me leaving the house but you have to grow up don’t you?” he recalls. “I had horses at my father’s yard but I wanted to get into racing. I love the adrenalin and the kick you get out of winning a race. You can’t compare it to anything really. Crossing that line in front is amazing.

“Paul Mulrennan told me that Michael Easterby’s was the yard to start at. It’s where he started and he said ‘If you can stick out a year there, you can go anywhere’

“It’s hard to get going up here but I have a great team behind me at ‘MWEs’ and I have settled in grand.

“David Easterby is very good with advice. He goes through all the races with me and tells me where I am going right and wrong. He’s a big help. I don’t know how far I can go – but I am aiming to go to the top. That’s the plan.”

Aside from learning the the ropes as a jockey, Evans is also attempting to learn the rules of the road – although, by his own admission, things could be going better in that respect.

“I haven’t passed my theory yet and I have done it a few times,” he said. “But I need to get the old driving licence sorted and quick.”

Evans, meanwhile, is set to link-up again with ‘Hoof It’ in the Ladbrokes Portland Handicap at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting on September 10.