Birthday girl Priscilla Schmidt will ride for the first time in Sydney on a Saturday when she partners Queensland stablemates Pepperwood and Seqsational at Rosehill.
Schmidt, who celebrated her 22nd birthday on Tuesday, has ridden twice at midweek meetings at Canterbury but is yet to ride at a Saturday metropolitan meeting in Sydney.
Schmidt was booked for the Liam Birchley-trained pair last week but was only confirmed after she won an appeal against a recent careless riding suspension last Thursday.
“Liam asked me if I could ride them in Sydney last week but I was suspended at the time,” Schmidt said.
“He waited until I had my appeal against the suspension heard and when it was successful last Thursday he booked me.
“I’ve ridden twice at the midweeks at Canterbury and had no luck.
“I’m pretty excited about it as Liam could have used any apprentice in Sydney but he’s given me the opportunity.”
Schmidt, who is the daughter of Eagle Farm trainer Dwayne Schmidt, is highly regarded by Brisbane trainers but does most of her Saturday riding at the Gold Coast.
“I’ve ridden five winners in town in Brisbane and all up I’ve ridden about 110 winners,” she said.
Schmidt had her first race ride at Lismore in December 2009 after turning her back on a career as a flight attendant with Jetstar.
“It was always my childhood dream to be a flight attendant but after I did it for a year I wanted to follow another dream to become a jockey,” she said.
She doesn’t model herself on any particular rider but does admire Kathy O’Hara and former jockey Bernadette Cooper.
Birchley has been forced to send his pair interstate because of a lack of a suitable races in Brisbane.
“I couldn’t find a race for either of them up here so there’s no alternative but to take them to Sydney,” Birchley said.
“It’s unbelievable, I’ve got a miler and a 1000-metre horse and can’t find a race for them here.”
Pepperwood is to start in an 1800-metre Benchmark 90 race before proceeding to Melbourne while Seqsational will make her comeback over 1100 metres in a Benchmark 80.
“There’s a 2100-metre race at Eagle Farm on Saturday but Pepperwood has never raced beyond 1800 metres and I’ve set him for an 1800-metre race at Flemington on Cup day,” Birchley said.
“I couldn’t possibly send him around over 2100 metres and then drop him back to 1800 metres.”
Pepperwood has failed at his only two starts this campaign but that doesn’t concern Birchley.
“He never goes well in his first few runs back from a break and takes time to find his best form,” he said.
At his most recent outing, Pepperwood came from last on the home turn to finish sixth, only four lengths from the winner Racing Heart over 1800 metres on a heavy Eagle Farm track 10 days ago.
Seqsational is a six-time winner from 18 starts including her last-start victory in a Class 5 over 1100m at Ipswich on May 2.