Up-and-coming hoop Priscilla Schmidt was all smiles at Eagle Farm on Wednesday after the former flight attendant scored her debut city win aboard Ted Harden’s promising two-year-old Psychodelic.
A daughter of Eagle Farm trainer and former jockey Dwayne Schmidt, 21-year-old Pricilla Schmidt put her masterful riding skills on display as she guided Helter Skelter gelding Pshychodelic ($4.80) to a strong one length victory over Paul Messara’s odds-on favourite Double Ranga ($1.60) in the $13,000 SKY Racing 2YO Handicap (1000m).
The win, Schmidt’s first on the metropolitan racing scene from seven attempts and the horse’s second from a four-start career to date, marked the start of what is shaping up to be a very successful career.
Schmidt previously enjoyed 75 winning rides on the provincial racing circuits in Queensland and New South Wales before acquiring her city licence.
“I’ve ridden in Sydney at Canterbury and I’ve ridden a lot at Gosford, Newcastle and Wyong,” Schmidt, who quit her job as an airline attendant with Jetstar to purse her dream to become one of the country’s top jockeys.
“I have ridden for a lot of trainers in the Northern Rivers and Gordon Yorke has been a big supporter of mine.
“He often puts me on whenever he takes his horses away.
“It was always my childhood dream to be a flight attendant but I only did it for a year before I wanted to ride.”
Her first appearance in the saddle was at Lismore in December of 2009, and it seems her younger sister Cassie, 17, is also set to continue the family involvement in racing.
“Cassie is apprenticed to my grandfather Glen Hodge at Port Macquarie and she’s about to get her barrier trial licence next week,” Schmidt said.
Although describing her riding style as her own, Schmidt admitted to holding a high regard for Gold Coast hoop Glen Colless.
“I think Glen is a very good rider,” she said.
She also admires fellow female jockey Kathy O’Hara and former rider Bernadette Cooper, who have both been happy to help guide Schmidt as she breaks through into the racing industry.
“Bernadette has a natter to me every now and then which is good and Kathy also has been a big help during my career,” she admitted.
Although over her two-year career to date Schmidt has thankfully avoided any race falls, she has experienced the dangerous side of her chosen profession when breaking her wrist in September of 2009 when tossed during trackwork.
“I’ve still got a pin and plate from that fall and I probably won’t get them out until I finish riding,” she said.
Wednesday’s Eagle Farm meeting also saw Gold Coast trainer Kelly Purdy, a former jockey herself, land her opening metropolitan win with her well-bred Lonhro three-year-old Simply Smart leading all the way to score a three length win over Go Amigo in the $13,000 Www.Brc.Com.Au Handicap (1200m).
After exiting the riding scene to practice as a horse chiropractor, Purdy soon set off on a mission to become a trainer.
“I always wanted to stay involved with horses and was studying to be a chiropractor when my ex-partner gave me this horse to train,” she said.
“I rode over 300 winners as a jockey in Victoria before I came to Queensland and Simply Smart is only my third winner since I got my trainer’s licence.”