Samantha Munro on one of the horses at her Brushgrove stable. She rode her first winner as a jockey last Monday.
Samantha Munro on one of the horses at her Brushgrove stable. She rode her first winner as a jockey last Monday.

Munro rides high

THE confidence of sporting the famous red, white and black of champion Australian gelding Takeover Target has proved the catalyst for a breakthrough triumph for a young jockey.

Grafton’s Samantha Munro, 18, was given the chance to ride Joe Janiak’s She’s Not Guilty in the Coates Hire Benchmark SS Handicap (1200m) in Coffs Harbour on March 8.

After 22 starts, Munro held off Al Hussar and Eire’s Rock by a long head to notch her first victory since commencing race riding in early-January. It was the second win from seven starts for Munro’s four-year-old mare. And it was the confidence of wearing the Janiak red, white and black colours, made famous by Takeover Target’s career exploits, which spurred Munro over the line.

“It was amazing,” Munro said. “I thought she was gone at the 200 but then she stepped up a gear. She could just handle the wet.

“I had those famous colours on and it gave me a bit of luck. I had a little bit of pressure but it wasn’t too much that I couldn’t do my best.”

After six placings in her career to date the win could spell the start of bigger things for a ‘confident’ Munro.

She is an apprentice at Terry Cummerford’s stables at Brushgrove.

“I couldn’t really celebrate because we are on a diet all the time,” she said. “I’ll just take the wins as they come.”

Munro began track work in 2008 and admits to always having a kinship with each of her rides.

“I was always little. And I have been riding since I could walk,” she said.

“I lost a bit of weight and then they asked if I wanted to do some riding. I don’t really know why I started - it just sort of came to me.

“But the connection between me and the horse – I have always had that connection.”

Cummerford says the watershed victory for Munro was due reward for his hard-working prodigy. Munro works alongside fellow boom local junior Matt McGuren.

“They are the best two kids I have had work for me in my life,” Cummerford said. “She (Munro) doesn’t come from a racing background but in 15 months she has worked very hard.” Cummerford noted the efforts put into Munro’s development by Rex Kelly, Craig Pringle and Stan Woolaston.



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