HEIDI Gillie is racing's answer to Wonder Woman.
The 25-year-old from Mailors Flat, a product of home-schooling all her life, knows no boundaries.
Gillie has a personal trainer certificate, is a pharmacy assistant and also has a rigid truck driving licence.
This Thursday at Horsham, she will compete in the last of 20 official race trials as she seeks approval from the stewards to start a new career as a mature-aged apprentice jockey with Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
Gillie, who has worked as a track-work rider for the Maher-Eustace stable for more than two years, said she was looking forward to the challenges of being an apprentice jockey.
"I'm hoping to tick off my final trial at Horsham on Thursday," she said.
"It'll be my 20th trial and that's on the back of more than 300 normal trials. The stewards will study the footage after the trial and will notify me within a few days if they have given me my ticket.
"I'm hoping to have my first race ride on one of Ciaron and David's horses within a fortnight.
"It's really exciting to have the opportunity to ride in races. I'm very grateful.
"I'll be only the second apprentice jockey behind Warrnambool's Teo Nugent that the stable has had under its care. Teo has done a great job with his career as a jockey and hoping I can have a bit of success like him."
Gillie's association with Maher began more than 12 years ago when she rode horses on Port Fairy's East Beach and the dunes in Warrnambool.
"I can vividly remember as a 13-year-old riding horses for Ciaron along the beaches," she said.
"Ciaron had about 18 horses in work out at his parents' Winslow property back then and I would work with Ciaron's brother Declan.
"I've always loved horses and now, fingers crossed I'll be able to ride in races within a fortnight.
"When I was 18 I used to ride track-work at Warrnambool starting at 4am in the morning and finish at 9am before going to work as a pharmacy assistant from 10am to 6pm.
"I moved to Ballarat to ride track-work for Mitch Freedman for four years before joining the Maher-Eustace stable."
Gillie is entrusted with the responsibility of driving valuable horses to races, trials or spelling facilities in either a six or 10-horse truck by Maher and Eustace.
Maher said he has always been impressed by Gillie's work ethic.
"She's a great asset to our stable," he said. "She can drive our big 10-horse truck to the races, trials or to our various stables without a problem and then she rides horses in jump-outs or trials.
"I can remember Heidi riding ponies as a youngster around the back blocks of Mailors Flat and Winslow before she started work for me.
"I think Mary White helped Heidi out with riding ponies in those early years. Heidi is a credit to herself and her family. She's got a great attitude to work and life."
Gillie said Maher had offered her some great advice about her riding style and a possible mentor for her riding career.
"Ciaron just says watch Jamie Kah all the time," she said. "Ciaron says Jamie doesn't get too many things wrong."
Kah has ridden more than 100 metropolitan winners in the 2020-21 racing season, which ends on July 31.
KEN Phillips was a handy hobby racehorse trainer from Lake Bolac who trained numerous winners during his 40-year career, including Super Saint, Kenronald, Royal Peak and New Summer before retiring from training in 2003.
Ken's wife Jean, meanwhile, was the secretary of the Mortlake and Lake Bolac Racing clubs for many years.
Sadly, all their racing memorabilia, including old winning photos, were destroyed in a house fire.
The family is wondering if anyone may have any photos or memorabilia of Phillips training triumphs.
For more information, phone James MacLeod on 0417 519 782.
WOOLSTHORPE trained mare Millennial Girl notched up her third victory from 22 starts, winning a $35,000 restricted race at Geelong on Friday.
Millennial Girl, ridden by Kevin Bohorun, defeated Anewdaydawning and Stradari to win the 1447-metre race. Trainer Shayne Fisher said the rising five-year-old mare appreciated the soft track conditions.
"Millennial Girl doesn't like heavy tracks," Fisher said. "The soft going is as bad as she likes.
"She's just a duffer on heavy ground. Her last two runs at Edenhope and Warracknabeal were quite good. She finished both those runs off pretty good.
"We'll give her a freshen up after that win.
"She'll have about three weeks in the paddock.
"We'll look at having her ready for races later in the year."
Millennial Girl took her stake earnings to more than $70,000 with the victory.
JOCKEY Jason Benbow will be on the sidelines for nine meetings after pleading guilty to a careless riding charge at Moe on Saturday.
Stewards found Benbow allowed his mount Miss Arizona to shift in near the 50-metre mark.
His suspension starts July 21 and ends midnight, August 4.
Stewards deemed the incident to be in the mid-range, but noted Benbow's outstanding record regarding careless riding before handing down the penalty.
His last guilty careless riding charge was in 2017.
Meanwhile, jumps jockey Chris McCarthy pleaded guilty to the charge he failed to retire his ride Looking Around from the Drechsler Hurdle when the horse was out of contention.
McCarthy is suspended for three races, starting midnight July 18 until after the Sale meeting on July 25.
CALIFORNIAFIREBIRD: Liked the way he finished off a maiden hurdle on Sunday.
Having only his second jumps start the six-year-old battled on strongly over the concluding stages to run third in the 3200 metre race.
He's ready to break his maiden jumping status.
FOXY FRIDA: Failed in her attempt to win three consecutive races just failing to win a 1700 metre race at Flemington.
She was well backed before failing but those punters who backed her on Saturday should back up again next time.
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