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Page last updated at 17:44 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 18:44 UK

Racecourse tribute to schoolboy

Jamie Yeates
Youngster Jamie Yeates had the potential to become a leading jockey

Ffos Las Racecourse in Carmarthenshire has dedicated the opening race of its first Flat meeting on Tuesday to the memory of aspiring jockey Jamie Yeates.

The 15-year-old, who worked at the yard of local trainer Alison Thorpe, died from stab wounds at his home in Llanelli last January.

"Jamie was a very special lad, he had special qualities," Ms Thorpe said.

"He was supposed to be going to racing school and to see [his] life taken away was devastating for everybody here."

Ms Thorpe, who runs the Felinfach stables in Bronwydd Arms just north of Carmarthen, believes that Jamie had the potential to become a leading jockey and was a "natural" in the saddle.

The teenager had been due to attend the Northern Racing College in Doncaster in June after completing his GCSE exams at school.

He worked three days a week at the yard and his racing hero was professional jockey Jamie Spencer, who led the tributes on the news of the youngster's death last January.

Jamie had been due, just days after his death, to meet his hero by leading up Spencer's opening ride Dishdasha at Great Leighs.

It was one of those things that touches your life... it's a nice tribute to Jamie

Trainer Alison Thorpe

"Jamie 'Spencer' Yeates as we called him here... he had his whole future mapped out for him," Ms Thorpe said.

"We can't really begin to think about what affect its got on his family, so we've put towards a sponsorship for the race.

"It was one of those things that touches your life and you never, ever think that anything like that could happen when a lad like that has his life taken away in racing - it's a nice tribute to him."

The EBF/Jamie Yeates Memorial Maiden Stakes will usher in Flat racing at Ffos Las after its successful launch over fences in June - when it became Britain's first turf racecourse to open for more than 80 years.

The six-furlong opener, which offers £7,500 in prize money, is only for two-year-olds.

The first jumps fixture at Ffos Las was a 10,000 sell-out and it had been hoped that the racecourse would repeat that success for its Flat debut.

• Carl Wayne Bowen, Jamie Yeates's stepfather, is on trial at Swansea Crown Court accused of murder. He admits killing him, but denies murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He also denies the attempted murder of Jamie's sister Kimberley and their mother Maria.



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