Kyra Yuill never lost her passion for riding, but she might have lost her way in racing.
Yuill was WA’s best apprentice and had the world at her feet when she became the first female to win the Perth Cup on Western Jewel in 2011.
But the racing world can be harsh and like so many before her the transition from apprentice to senior jockey can be a tough road to climb.
Highly respected in thoroughbred circles for her work ethic and determination, Yuill’s racing future reached a fork in the road 12-months ago.
Lacking direction and purpose, Yuill appointed a racing manger to help oversee and reset her career. Collectively they embarked on new goals and plans.
And in a sport that is judged on wins and losses, their partnership has proved successful. It’s been the turning point in reviving Yuill’s profile.
No longer at the crossroads anymore, Yuill has found her path in racing again.
“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go,” Yuill told Tabradio.
“I still loved riding and I wasn’t going to give it up.
“It’s the hardest thing to explain and you don’t know until you are in that position.
“About 12-months ago I really started getting my blood back into it and Daniel Cripps became my manger.
“He is a really good friend and we have got a really good relationship.
“It’s going fantastic and I don’t care where I’m riding, I love riding and getting up for work in the morning.
“I’m in the right shape of mind at the moment and it’s amazing how things can turn around.”
As Yuill enters 2020 she is one win shy of reaching a personal goal that a year ago seemed unobtainable.
She’s thrilled to be closing in on a milestone after 39 provincial, eight country and two metropolitan wins since August.
“I think I’ve had 49 winners for the season and I remember when I started with Daniel I said if I get 50 winners, a winner a week, I will be rapt,” Yuill said.
“I haven’t had a season like that for ages, so it’s certainly on track.
“It’s onwards and upwards and I’m really looking forward to the future.”
Reflecting her form and return to riding prominence, Yuill is back on the big stage riding in the Group 2 Perth Cup, partnering rank outsider, Plays The Game.
It’s Yuill first time associated with the iconic race since etching her name into Perth Cup folklore with Western Jewel.
Plays The Game is out of form this campaign and only a shadow of the horse that won the Listed Pinjarra Cup (2300m) in 2018.
Yuill is hopeful rather than confident.
“If he gets back to his old form he can come out and run a cheeky race,” Yuill said.
“We know he gets the trip and he feels good.
“Hopefully he can put in his best and time will tell.”