ROSE Hammond - daughter of former top Cobden footballer Stephen - will make her debut as an apprentice jockey within weeks.
Hammond, 19, who is apprentice to respected Echuca trainer Gwenda Johnstone can't wait for her first race ride.
"I've always wanted to be a jockey," she said.
"I should be having my first ride in a few weeks.
"Mum and dad can remember when I was just three years old saying I wanted to be a jockey.
"I've still got fond memories of going to Troy Bourke's stables at Cobden as a 12-year-old and messing around with horses.
"My family moved up to a farm at Tongola four years ago and I went over and started working for Gwenda at Echuca and have been there ever since.
"Gwenda and her husband Mick have been really great to me."
The path to being a jockey has not been an easy one for Hammond.
She broke her left leg and nose in a trackwork accident at Echuca in May 2020 but the determination her Dad had on the footy field has always shone through in the talented 19-year-old.
"It was a bit frustrating when I broke my leg," she said.
"I was on the sidelines for seven months but that was not going to stop me from being a jockey.
"I've worked really hard in the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, plus riding a lot of track work to be ready for the chance to ride in races.
"Apprentices have to ride in 20 trials before they can ride in races. I've ridden in 39 trials and lots of jump-outs.
"I've based my riding style on Darren Gauci.
"He's one of the teachers at apprentice school with Alf Matthews.
"They were both jockeys and are great teachers for the apprentice jockeys."
LIAM Hoy sang the praises of New Zealand jumps jockey Aaron Kuru after he rode Under The Bridge to win a restricted steeplechase at Warrnambool on Sunday.
Under The Bridge hung on to beat the fast finishing Mustang Harry in the 'chase over 3450 metres.
Hoy, stable foreman for top Warrnambool trainer Symon Wilde said Kuru had put in a perfect ride on Under The Bridge.
"It was a cracker ride by Aaron," he said.
"Under The Bridge is a quirky type of horse but Aaron rode him perfectly.
"Aaron comes down to ride some track gallops and in jumps trials for the stable.
"The stable is in the fortunate situation to have Aaron and Ronan Short here to ride our jumpers.
"Ronan is young and still learning the ropes but he's going to be very good once he gains more experience."
Under The Bridge May have his next jumps start in the $60,000 Great Western Steeplechase at Coleraine on August 14.
FRENCH born jockey Selim Agbal will always remember Warrnambool.
Agbal rode his first Australia winner when he guided the Ciaron Maher - David Eustace trained Stern Idol to a 27-length victory in a restricted hurdle around the famous course on Sunday.
The win follows up from his third placing on Eyes Are Blue in the Grand Annual Steeplechase.
"It's just so special to ride around Warrnambool," Agbal said.
"I'll never forget my ride on Eyes Are Blue in the Annual.
"It was a day I'll never forget with the big crowd.
"It was a nerve wrecking experience but I loved it and then to come here and win on Stern Idol for Ciaron and Dave is extra special.
"Ciaron's brother Declan has been a really big help since I joined the stable."
Agbal has a four-year contract to the Maher-Eustace stable through a sponsorship deal before he hopes to settle in Australia.
RESPECTED Crossley trainer Quinton Scott was left with mixed feelings after Mister Dynamix was narrowly defeated in a benchmark 64 race at Geelong on Friday.
"It was an excellent run and I was hoping he might have hung on to win," Scott said.
"A couple of the owners got as much as 50/1 about his chances.
"It would have been a huge result for them if he hung on to win."
Scott revealed there were reasons for the poor run by Mister Dynamix at his last start at Swan Hill.
"Let's just say it was trainer's error," he said.
"Mister Dynamix is a highly strung horse.
"I probably went a bit easy with him before Swan Hill because it's a long trip away.
"He had really improved with the run and trip away to Swan Hill.
"Mister Dynamix is not a bad horse if he's in the right mood.
"We'll probably take him to Cranbourne for his next start.
"There's a benchmark 64 there. The biggest worry is there's no easy races anywhere."
Mister Dynamix, who has won four of his 18 starts took his stake earnings to just short of $100,000 with his second placing at Geelong.
APPRENTICE jockey Sheridan Clarke will be on the sidelines for seven meetings after pleading guilty to a whip infringement at Wangaratta on Saturday.
Stewards found Clarke used her whip four more times then permitted prior to the 100 metre mark.
Her suspension starts at midnight on July 8 and ends at midnight on July 15.
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