LAUREN Guernier was all smiles at Laura on Saturday after she notched up her first career win in the saddle in the opening race of the day.
The 27-year-old, who is indentured to Cairns trainer Fred Wieland, won by the barest of margins in the Maiden Plate (1000m) on Classic Chance.
Slow out of the barriers in the three-horse field, Guernier didn’t panic when trailing the leading duo by several lengths early in the peace. She allowed the $2 second favourite to gather itself and made her move on the turn to overrun stablemate Cody’s Boy in the last stride, winning by a nose.
It was the Gordonvale product’s first win from her seventh ride.
Guernier said she was quietly confident of getting her maiden victory.
“I ride the horse every day in trackwork and know him inside and out. I thought today could be our lucky day. It was the horse’s first win, too.”
A mature-age apprentice, Guernier grew up around horses but was working in the deli of her local IGA until she took a job riding trackwork in Cairns.
That was two years ago and she’s been with Wieland’s stable for the last 12 months.
“Fred’s always been behind me with me and has encouraged me along the way, even when I had doubts,” she said, whilst also praising her jockey coaches in Brisbane – Jeff McKay and Shane Scriven.
Her main challenge could be claiming her full 4kg allocation. On Saturday, Guernier was at 57kg and could only claim half a kilo on Classic Chance.
Wieland backed her to make the drop.
“She’s working hard and when she first started she was over 60kg, so she’s doing everything right so far,” he said.
“She can ride anything at trackwork so I think she’ll make it as a jockey.”