Mollie Clark gave Western Australia the perfect start in the National Apprentice Jockey Challenge when she booted home Another Man’s Gain at Murray Bridge on Thursday.
Up against riders from Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, Clarke drew first blood when Another Man’s Gain defeated Tuscan Fever and Miss Murra.
“It’s pretty exciting and a great feeling,” Clark said.
“I normally get nervous before a race but this time was different.
“It’s my first ride interstate and it’s nice to show what I can do.
“It’s a great opportunity to be involved and I’m so grateful for the chance.”
Clark and Another Man’s Gain, trained by Dick Leech, snuck under the radar of punters, returning $14.20 and $4.20 with the TAB.
Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) Jockey Coach, John Claite, said Clarke represented her state with distinction.
“She presented very well and it’s a great result all round,” Claite said.
“She rode the perfect race behind the leaders back and then held them off at the end.
“She box seated and saved ground.
“It was a perfect ride.”
Clarke, indentured to Pinjarra trainer, Brett Pope, was crowned Leading Country Apprentice Jockey last season.
An accomplished event rider before making the transition to racing, Clark won her first race on Gannochy at Mt Magnet (2015).
The second round of the National Apprentice challenge will be staged in Melbourne on March 1, Brisbane on March 8 and Hobart on March 22.
Perth will host the final leg at Ascot on April 5.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli