Broome punters might have been reeling after Tranquillo scored at big odds, but for apprentice jockey, Zack Gibbs, it is a race he will never forget.
Zibb’s celebrated his first ever win as a jockey when he guided Tranquilo to an easy victory in the Territory Rural Maiden (1300m) on Saturday.
The Bunbury galloper started the rank outsider but after landing in front for Gibbs he was never in danger of defeat, scoring by 2 ½ lengths.
With seven of the eight winners on the programme leading, Zibb’s had Tranquilo, who returned $45.40 and $8.60, in the perfect position.
Gibbs, who is based in Broome for the winter season, said the milestone victory was the greatest thrill he had ever experienced.
“It was just awesome and you couldn’t wipe the smile from my face,” said Gibbs.
“I’m just over the moon and it’s the best feeling ever.
“It’s been a long road to get here but I’m just so happy.
“I can’t wait until I ride my next one.”
Gibb’s path to becoming a jockey came courtesy of his grandfather, Bob, who heard an advertisement for Careers In Racing on TABradio.
He started as a school based trainee with Ascot trainer, Donna Riordan, before being granted a licence and riding his first race at Northam last month.
The budding apprentice has since bolstered his experience by riding at Leinster, Leonora, Roebourne, Broome and Port Hedland.
Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) Riding Master, former jockey, John Claite, says Gibbs is getting reward for his hard work.
“He has improved out of sight and in the past 12-months has probably been the hardest working apprentice,” said Claite.
“He has come along very quickly and it’s no surprise to me that he has ridden his first winner so early into his career.
“He is learning a lot and gaining plenty of experience by riding at the different provincial tracks around the state.
“He had never ridden a horse before he came to me so I’m getting a thrill seeing his development and progress.
“Weight may catch up with him in the future but at the moment he is determined and dedicated to improving.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli