Apprentice Holly Watson celebrated her first city win when How’s The Serenity scored in the opening race at Belmont on Wednesday.
After she commenced riding last October, the 20-year-old made the most of her opportunity in town for host trainer Simon Miller.
Sent out the odds on favourite ($1.90), Watson guided How’s The Serenity to an all the way victory in the Dream Horse Handicap (1200m).
The Magnus filly unleashed a burst of speed in the straight and defeated Comealilbitcloser by 2 ¼ lengths with Choice Bid close behind in third place.
From a non-racing background, Watson gained experience in provincial and country circuits where she has ridden 37 winners to date.
Growing up with horses in pony club, Watson said it was a surreal feeling to boot home her first city winner in town.
“It’s very exciting to come to a mid-week after riding for eight months,” Watson said.
“It’s very, very exciting and such a great thrill, especially for Simon (Miller) who has been a great support all the time.
“It all started when I worked for Darren Taylor, he’s the one who suggested I get into racing and riding.
“It’s awesome and has turned into the best job ever.
“I’ve had so much support to get me to this point.
“It’s such a great thrill.”
Miller, who later posted a double with First Law, believes Watson is a rider with potential.
He said her patient introduction to city riding was worth the wait.
“Too many apprentices are allowed to go to town too early,” Miller said.
“I had the opportunity of holding her back and she trusted the system.
“She never put any pressure on us and I’m proud of her.”