On the outside Raquel Reid comes across as a confident and self-assured trainer.
But looks can be deceiving, dig deeper and you find Reid is riddled with self-doubt and insecurity.
That’s why conquering Sunday’s Tabtouch York Cup with her favourite horse Juicing Carrots was a significant and timely professional milestone.
Reid took home bragging rights and $40,600 in prizemoney, but the veteran nine-year-old’s upset victory meant so much more.
It was twofold for Reid; validation as a trainer and vindication to hit back against her mounting critics and doubters.
Regrettably, many of those detractors have been willing to spew out their ugly vitriol on social media, which disappointingly is type in the modern sporting landscape.
The communication platform has become the wave of the future for racing and sporting fans with it’s ability to connect with trainers, jockeys and athletes.
Reid is a fan of social media and can see the positive benefits to racing, but admits the level of anger directed at her recently had taken a mental toll.
“After all the abusive messages I’ve been receiving this was more than just a win,” Reid told The Races WA.
“I was getting letters and twitter posts saying what a useless trainer I was and that I had no idea of what I was doing.
“I’m a person who gets pretty down on themselves and I know I shouldn’t listen to them, but it’s a kick in the guts.
“I admit all the ugly messages sent me to a pretty dark place.
“I didn’t realise people could be so low and I doubted myself.
“It’s hard to take because I put so much work into my horses.
“Punters are obviously upset to see their horses lose, but as trainers we want to see them do well.
“It’s not like we don’t want them to win.
“I’m all for promoting racing, but I think maybe racing authorities have to look into it a bit more.
“But I will continue to do what I want to do and try and take no notice of the trolls.
“They can say what they like because they can’t take away that I’m a cup-winning trainer now.”
Sent out a $21 chance, Juicing Carrots, ridden by Craig Staples, breezed outside the leader and defeated hot favourite Roman Flirt by a head in a thrilling conclusion to the York Cup (1920m).
After being well beaten at his first two runs back this campaign, Reid was confident she had Juicing Carrots primed and at his top for the York Cup.
“This was the race I had set him for,” Reid said.
“There were underlying issues last start, but now is just a happy horse inside and out.
“He’s just been full of himself and I was pretty confident, which is so unusual for me.
“I don’t think I had him any better.
“I rang Craig (Staples) on Sunday morning and said I think we can win this.”
Juicing Carrots has raced on 85 occasions for 10 wins and $469,455 in stake money.
With rising internal confidence, Reid says Juicing Carrots will be aimed at the Perth Cup (2400m), a race that his dad Black Tom was able to win in 2006.
“He’ll have a couple of races and have a go at the Perth Cup,” Reid said.
“We’ll see how he goes.
“At the moment he is ticking all the right boxes.”