Sat | Jul 24, 2021

Female jockey positive after Caymanas success

Published:Tuesday | June 30, 2020 | 12:21 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Having achieved her best finish in the saddle since she began riding almost two years ago, female apprentice jockey Tamicka Lawrence believes that she is now close to securing her first career win at Caymanas Park.

Lawrence, who began riding in September 2018, rode the George Edwards-trained ANASO to a third-place finish in the last race at Saturday’s meet. It was her first top-three finish in her 17-ride career.

“It was a fantastic feeling because this is the first time that I was placing in a race since I began riding,” said Lawrence. “My ‘saddle ran in the race’ because I got bounced at the four-furlong post, and then I just started to lose my balance, and so I couldn’t get to ride him properly up the straight.”

“But I am positive that I will win my first race soon. I just need a live horse now to do it,” Lawrence added.

The 28-year-old Lawrence is one of three female apprentice jockeys that are currently plying their trade at Caymanas Park. The others are Samantha Fletcher, who has ridden 10 winners to date, while Abigail Able has so far notched two wins.

Lawrence underlined that Saturday’s third-place finish would boost her confidence a lot while also pointing to her efforts on the exercise track.

“That ride on Saturday will give me a lot of confidence because in the Parade Ring, I felt confident,and I know that my time will come very soon,” Lawrence said.

“For me what I look at is that I have only ridden 17 times, and so I don’t look at the two years that I have been riding because I have apprentice sisters who have ridden over a 100 times and only win two races, and so I think I am in a good place,” she said.

“I think what keeps me motivated is just waking up in the mornings and going to the track and seeing the horses, being with them and playing with them. I just try to use the love for the horses and just ignore all the downfalls and the negative stuff around me,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence feels that despite her hard work on the exercise track in the mornings, she is yet to gain the respect of most of the trainers at Caymanas Park.

“They (trainers) don’t believe in me as yet, and they think that I am not competent enough, but I know that I am and I believe in myself,” Lawrence said.

“During the shutdown of racing, I was putting in a lot of work, but I am still not getting enough rides because the people that I was putting in all the work for are not really looking at me. But you know, being tough and the type of person that I am, I am there every day still putting in a lot of work without any reward,” she stated.