Billie-Rose chases second Cup
BILLIE-ROSE Derbyshire loves winning big races and they don't come any bigger, in the Gold City anyway, than today's Nolan's Meats Muster Cup.
The $18,000 Cup is Gympie's most prestigious race and the apprentice jockey is hoping to be first past the post at the 1600m mark.
The pocket dynamo knows what it takes to win the Cup having won on Harney in 2011 just after starting her apprenticeship.
Her quick rise into the winner's circle, while spectacular, also led to her early exit from the sport at the end of 2011.
The expectations put on her, by herself and others, became too much and she left the racing industry.
"The first time round the pressure got too much," Billie-Rose said as she got ready to ride track work yesterday.
"I had to have a break."
After having some time out of the industry she realised she missed racing and restarted her apprenticeship at Caloundra.
Eventually she found herself back in Gympie at the Kerry Munce stables.
"I'm really enjoying being back," Billie- Rose said.
"Now I'm just trying to enjoy myself when I'm riding."
The new philosophy seems to be working with Billie-Rose, winning the South East Queensland Jockeys Apprenticeship race.
"It's all thanks to the boss, he puts me on good rides," she said.
The 20-year-old hasn't added to her pressure by setting herself any lofty goals on the track.
"At the moment I just want to finish my apprenticeship, become a senior rider and enjoy racing," she said.
"I love riding in the bush."
In the Cup today she will be aboard Legazpi.
Billie-Rose said it is the horse's first time on the Gympie track and she is expecting good things.
"It will be hard to beat Harney," Billie-Rose said.
"Des (Desiree Gill) is riding and she is a great jockey."
Legazpi's trainer, Kerry Munce said the horse had been racing in Ipswich on heavy tracks and thinks the Southside surface may suit the horse, but agreed Harney was the one to beat.
Harney's trainer Barry Gill said the Muster Cup and Gympie Cup were the region's biggest races and he has set Harney for the win today.
"It's the horse's favourite track and favourite distance," Barry said.
"It's his third race back after a break and he is looking good."
He said Harney had a reputation for being highly strung but had started to mature.
"He's big, black, strong and electric," Desiree said.
"The horse looks magnificent."
Gympie Turf Club president Spencer Slatter said the turf club was all set for a massive day and urged everyone to attend.
The Continuous Call team are broadcasting live from the track and Dan and Steph will be cooking up a storm.