As Teighan Worsnop prepares for her first ever race ride at Albury on Saturday, the young apprentice jockey isn’t super nervous; instead, she is excited for her long-awaited chance to mix it with the best jockeys in the Southern District Racing Association.
Having grown up in Gundagai and Tumut before moving to Albury to work with her pop, Garry Worsnop, the 20-year-old was into barrel racing and cutting, before eventually making the move to the thoroughbred racing industry.
“You would definitely say I have a need for speed,” Worsnop laughed.
“I’m a Gundagai girl, I’m a country girt; I did barrel racing until I was 14 and after that, I trained ponies and did some cutting and just rode for the enjoyment.”
Worsnop’s introduction to racing was a little by chance and a little by association, after taking up a job opportunity for her pop instead of going to university, before then progressing to being a pre-apprentice.
“So, I moved to Albury, and I had early acceptance into Equine science with CSU but I decided to have a gap year and my pop knew I could ride and they needed a trackwork rider and they gave me an offer,” Worsnop said.
“I gave it a crack and fell in love with it, then Norm Loy said I was small enough to be a jockey and two years later, here I am, preparing for my first race ride.”
Worsnop is now on loan to Gordon Yorke and will take three rides at Albury’s Boxing Day meeting.
“I am on loan to Gordon Yorke now; he is the master, and he has taken me under his wing. He has been really helpful in getting my career started,” Worsnop said.
“I’ve had a few falls and I have been doing trials since January, and because of Covid, there hasn’t been as many trials or the right horses, but the race industry has been so willing to help me.
“Norm Loy has been really helpful, Brodie (Loy) has helped me with lessons and even Blaike (McDougall) has given me a couple of lessons.”
Worsnop will ride Prototype for Martin Stein in the 1175m Class One, Educate in the 1175m Benchmark 50 Handicap and Congenial Mistress in the 1400m benchmark 50 Handicap.
“All the trainers in Albury have been helpful and have been backing me by helping me out and giving me trials and now rides,” Worsnop said.
“I have a couple of good rides at Albury and it’s a Boxing Day non-TAB meeting, so there is not as much pressure and everyone is understanding that this is my first race ride, so I will go out there and ride my best.”
As far as preparing for Saturday, Worsnop said it was all about being confident in her skills and her mounts.
“I just want to get out there with a positive mindset and put the horses in a position to run to the best of their ability,” Worsnop said.
“I want to make sure the other jockeys are assured they won’t be put in danger with me riding and it helps that my horses aren’t maidens, so I am sure they will pull me into the right position.”
The border-based hoop is also proud to be one of a good number of women jockeys in the region and suggested there was a strong group coming through the ranks that were ready to test the men.
“There is a lot of female pre-apprentices at the moment, in Albury there were four female apprentices, or pre-apprentices,” Worsnop said.
“There are a lot of girls now riding and we all help each other, and it is really good to see.”