Just when life as an apprentice couldn’t get any better, a significant moment in Jess Taylor’s career looms that promises to test her resolve as a jockey.
Taylor rode a winner at Warwick Farm on Thursday and she has every chance to parlay that victory into more success with a full book of rides at Canterbury on Saturday.
At a meeting where apprentices are expected to dominate, Taylor has more incentive than most to cash in on the lift in profile that is associated with riding on the main racing day of the week.
Indentured to Warwick Farm trainer Mark de Montfort, Taylor’s apprenticeship finishes in less than a week.
She will ride for the last time with her city allowance on Wednesday before competing on equal terms with some of the best jockeys in the world.
It’s a serious challenge for any young rider, but Taylor is already mapping out how to get the most out of the transition.
“I’m planning to ride trackwork at a few different places, not just Warwick Farm,” Taylor said.
“That way I can broaden who I ride for a bit more. I’m looking forward to it.”
Taylor will ride for nine different trainers at Canterbury with bookmakers having three of her mounts in single figures.
Horses such as the Jason Coyle-trained Final Decision will give the former university student an undeniable shot at closing out her junior days with another metropolitan win.
Final Decision already carries $6 to $4.20 support to win the McGrath Estate Agents Handicap after a minor placing at Rosehill last month and an even more impressive runner-up finish to subsequent Villiers Stakes winner Happy Clapper before that.
Taylor’s book also includes Honey Cara, a $7 chance in the James Boag Handicap and Allez Chival, an in-form sprinter who is at the same quote for the TAB More Than Just Winning Handicap.
She is also on Mydream, a mare she has ridden to three wins, in the More Than Ready @ Vinery Handicap.
The Canterbury track figured in a minor upgrade early on Friday with more fine weather in Sydney expected to help the surface to at least reach the soft category.