Best Odds with Top Tote+ and Bet Back Offers!
Register at Australia's #1 Online Bookmaker!
Back A Winner!
Sign-Up to Australia's Fastest Growing Online Bookmaker!
Back Yourself!
Sign-up and start betting with Ladbrokes in 2 minutes!
Best Of The Best Odds!
Bet With Palmerbet and get Paid Top Fluc or Top Tote!
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Image: Darren Winningham

At Doomben, when the jockeys move from their conversation point with connections near the jockey’s room to go out and mount their horses in the parade ring, they pass through a gate, which leads onto the chute which runners use to find their way out on to the track. They then turn left and enter the parade ring.

Ten yards across from that gate is a second gate. Both of those gates are manned throughout the day to control the movement of the pedestrian traffic through that area.

On Saturday, a young lad was on duty on the second gate opening it and closing it as required as trainers and owners went about their business.

I passed through his gate twice every race and the young man was politeness itself. Every time I passed through the gate I said, ‘thank you.’ Every time I got the same reply … “you’re welcome.”

Although the jockeys didn’t actually need to use his gate at any time, they still walked past his position when they did that left turn to enter the parade ring when they went out for each race.

The young man was quiet, conscientious … and, for those not passing through his gate, it easy to just pass him by without a second glance.

But then, something happened in the lead-up to the fifth race.

As the jockeys came out, rider Jim Byrne stopped, retreated, and walked up to the young man with a big smile on his face and his hand outstretched.

“Hi. What’s your name,” asked Byrne.

The young man replied, and Byrne completed the introduction … “I’m Jimmy,” he said.

Byrne asked how long the young man had been working and was told, “it’s my first day.”

Byrne exchanged a few more pleasantries with the youngster and then, as he walked away, he said, “you should come and try it on this side of the fence. There’s more money in it.”

Of course, that was said a bit tongue in cheek as Byrne acknowledged later in the day, but it was nevertheless a delightful exchange seeing a jockey take time out, going out of his way, to speak to a youngster who was only having his first day in the job.

“People said to me there was this was this lad on the gate … and I just thought I’d give him some encouragement,” said Byrne.

“I was told he is sixteen. You could see that he is keen to work because he is sixteen and out and working and I suggested to him that he might consider another option if he really wants to work.

“He is sixteen and he is tiny … so I said, why don’t you come to the other side of the fence.

“I thought I’d try a bit of jockey recruitment. It was a bit tongue in cheek but, at the end of the day, being a jockey is a great career and I wanted to point that out to him.

“It was just a brief conversation, so whether he will ever think about it, I don’t know.

“Either way, he is a lovely fellow, and it was good to meet him.”

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
Featured News

Free Racing Bonus Bets and Offers

We take a look at the BIGGEST and BEST Free Daily Racing Offers and Betting Promotions from Australia’s leading online...

Trainer Neville Layt sadly passes away

Queanbeyan-based trainer Neville Layt sadly passed away on Tuesday afternoon after a battle with illness. Layt, 76, passed away at...

Nature Strip secures slot in The Everest

A deal has been struck that will see Nature Strip run for Chris Waller Racing in The Everest. Having contested...

Victorian club lambasted for charging trainer

The Swan Hill Jockey Club has been lambasted on social media after their decision to charge, find guilty and sanction...

Wendy Roche discusses the quirks of Nettoyer

Wendy Roche speaks on Nettoyer after the mare claimed her second Group 1 victory in the Queen Of The Turf...

Likely All Aged Stakes Field – 2021

The 2021 All Aged Stakes will be run this weekend (24/4/2021) at Randwick racecourse and the field is pretty close...

Arcadia Queen’s racing career over

Owner Bob Peters has all but confirmed the career of star mare Arcadia Queen is over, after she suffered a...

Classique Legend suffers HK setback will return to Australia

Just when it appeared Classique Legend was set to show his true colours in Hong Kong with a scheduled return...

Australian Bookmaker Reviews

Which bookmaker should you bet with? We Review each of the leading online Australian Bookmakers and rate them in order...

Copyright © 2021 Just Horse Racing.
All rights reserved - Privacy Policy

Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.
18+ Don't let the game play you. Stay in control. Gamble responsibly. Think! About your choices. Call Gambling Help on 1800 858 858 or visit or