A change of career path has paid off handsomely for apprentice, Shelby Colgate, who punched home her first winner at Norseman on Saturday.
Colgate had a brief taste of tertiary studies at university, but after two weeks of a physiotherapy course the 19-year-old swapped her textbooks for a saddle.
At just her eighth ride, Colgate, based in Albany with leading Great Southern trainer, Steve Wolfe, lifted Duke Of Downs to an exciting victory.
In a tight three-way contest with a neck separating the first three runners across the line, Duke Of Downs gained the verdict from Ribotique and Atheli.
“I wasn’t sure if I got the photo result so I was very excited,” Colgate said.
“I’m hoping it’s the first of many more to come.”
Colgate said senior jockey’s Natasha Faithfull and Shaun McGruddy have been invaluable mentors in the early stages of her apprenticeship.
Tayla Stone, another young and promising member of Wolfe’s team, dominated the Norseman meeting with a riding treble, including a runaway win in the Norseman Cup (1900m).
Stone, who less than two years ago sustained multiple fractures to her back and hip during a fall in a trial, steered Galinba Blast, trained by Alan Smith, to an eight length romp.
She won earlier on the Helen Harding-trained, Lightning Lucy and Foxy Dane before capping a top weekend at Bunbury on Sunday.
Stone partnered, Chasing Chaos, a member of Wolfe’s stable, who chased down, Naturaliste, and scored by one length.
Stone currently is level-pegging with Sarah Bonner in the Albany Race Club’s leading Apprentice of the Year award.
Brodie Kirby also put his hand up and flew the flag for male riders with a milestone victory at Mingenew Cup on Saturday.
Kirby notched his first winner at his 19th ride when he guided, Sea Tryst, in the Mingenew Commercial Sprint (1200m).
In contrast to Colgate, Kirby had little to worry about with the Laurie Weinman-trained galloper scoring by an easy 2 ¼ lengths.
Kirby, indentured to Dion Luciani, said the pressure had been released after claiming his maiden win.
“It’s a sense of disbelief to be honest,” Kirby said.
“I thought it would have come earlier.
“It’s something I won’t forget and it’s taken the pressure off me.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli