Azzopardi joins riding ranks

May 11, 2018

A horse beating home just two rivals, and finishing 10 lengths from the winner, isn’t generally considered a memorable outing, but Danvito’s effort at Bendigo last Friday was.

The seven-year-old gelding was the first race ride for apprentice jockey Emily Azzopardi.

Danvito was slow to begin and was at the rear of the field for most of the 1000m event, but that mattered little to Azzopardi.

‘‘It was really exciting, I was rapt to get my first race ride,’’ Azzopardi said.

‘‘He was just a bit slow away, and he can do that, but he finished off well and it was just a good experience.

‘‘After that, I’m really looking forward to getting more first race rides and really getting into it and hopefully getting my first win along the way.’’

Azzopardi, who lives in Kilmore but is indentured to the Seymour stable of Shannon and Lee Hope, first rode a horse at the age of seven and first seriously thought about becoming a jockey when introduced to Shannon Hope by a mutual friend.

The 19-year-old considers herself lucky to be connected with the stable that oversaw the development of star jockey Blake Shinn and current top apprentice Tahlia Hope.

‘‘I’ve got to give a massive thanks to Lee and Shannon and Tahlia. They’ve been so supportive and patient with me, I can’t thank them enough.’’

â– Danvito was one of three runners at Bendigo for the Hopes, whose other two fought out the finish of the final race on the card.

Filbert Way, who was ridden by Jordan Childs, scored a neck victory over Eramosa (Ben Thompson) in the 1600m Bridge Hotel BM64 Handicap.

— Brad Bishop

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