It was a proud moment for Wingatui trainer Terry Kennedy on Tuesday as he watched his daughter Jaylah record her first win as a jockey in Australia.
The expat Kiwi was having her seventh raceday ride aboard Friday At Five at Stawell for trainer Henry Dwyer and there was no place louder than Kennedy’s lounge back in New Zealand as he cheered her home to a 1-1/4 length victory.
“It was a really proud moment, especially the fact she did it in Victoria, it is pretty hard to get in over there. She has done well,” Kennedy said.
While Jaylah has always shown talent in the saddle, the 21-year-old left home soil five years ago in pursuit of another career path.
“She has been riding (trackwork) since she was 12 and was riding ponies before that. She has been riding all of her life,” Kennedy said.
“She went over there initially wanting to be a policewoman.
“They told her to have a couple of years in Australia doing something else to get some life skills and if she still wanted to be a policewoman she should come back.”
She clearly found a new passion and career path and has been enjoying her time across the Tasman where she is apprenticed to Dan O’Sullivan at Ballarat, and was duly over the moon to salute the judge for the first time on Tuesday.
"That's unreal, I can't describe that feeling," Jaylah Kennedy told Racing.com.
"I got the run of the race in behind Harry (Coffey), he gave me a really nice tow into it down the straight.
"I didn't want to get too excited until I got past the post, but you can't beat that winning feeling and hopefully, I keep it rolling.
"I'm probably my own biggest critic, I think that was probably my seventh ride, so it's good to get the monkey off my back early enough in my career," she said.