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With attention turning to a celebration of the fact that it had been thirty years since the first race under lights at Toowoomba, on Friday night at the track, many were reflecting on the changing times since that ground-breaking 1992 edition of the Toowoomba Cup … on just how much night racing has developed since then, both in the amount of race meetings, the surge in the number of venues and of course the quality of the lighting itself.

But a simple glance at a page near the front of Toowoomba’s Friday night race-book aptly highlights one of the biggest changes that has occurred over time … a change that at one time some would have turned their noses up and dismissed with a curt ‘it will never happen.’

Just as the lights now shine so much more brightly than before, so too does the role of female riders continue to climb in influence for the betterment of the industry.

There are no ‘gimmes’ here. Like everybody else in racing, these riders have to earn every reward they get … and they are thriving, as evidenced by that glance at the Toowoomba Jockey’s Premiership on that page in the race-book which shows that the top six positions on that Premiership ladder are filled by female riders.

Angela Jones, Monty Savva, Stephanie Lacy, Georgina Cartwright, Isabella Rabjones, and Minonette Kennedy fill positions one to six (in that order). Wendy Peel, Alex Patis and Jasmine Cornish fill places eight, nine and ten respectively … and the fairer sex are only denied a top ten clean sweep by Bubba Tilley who fills spot number seven.

Changing times for sure … but, while there might be those who lament the passing of the ‘good old days’, a lot of the change that has taken place has been for the better, not least the fact that the high-tech floodlights now shine brightly on a more inclusive group of riding participants … and that is undoubtedly a very good thing.

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