Apprentice jockey Tegan Newman is well on her way to achieving the ‘crazy’ goal she set herself when she returned to the saddle last year after recovering from a major injury.
The personable twenty-five-year-old was off the racing scene for four months after suffering serious back and chest injuries in a trackwork incident.
Since making her return Newman has gained steady momentum with a winning double aboard the Fred and Lindsay Cornege-trained Rose ‘N’ Power and the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Crafty Jess at Te Rapa on Saturday taking her tally for the season to 29 victories and 57 lifetime wins overall.
Newman is determined to outride the two-kilogram claim she currently enjoys before her apprenticeship ends in September.
“When I came back from my injury, I set myself a crazy goal to outride my two-kilogram claim before I come out of my apprenticeship,” she said.
“I need 23 more wins to do that which seems like a bit of a mountain to climb but I’m hoping I can do that if I can keep getting on some of the nice horses I have been riding lately.
“I’ve never ridden for the Corneges or for Murray and Andrew before, so to be able to get a ride for them and to win was really satisfying.
“It was also pretty ironic that when I won on Crafty Jess, I beat Sam Collett (Ranger) and Danielle Johnson (Germanicus) who have been wonderful mentors for me since I started riding.
“To beat them was a thrill and they were great about it afterwards, although I copped a bit of banter in the jockeys’ room.”
While Newman is taking a single-minded focus on achieving her goal, she has a constant reminder of the dangers of her chosen profession each time she climbs into the saddle.
“I still have the injuries I received in my bad fall niggling away at me,” she said.
“I go to physiotherapy once a week, but I still get pain in my back and chest as they haven’t properly diagnosed the root cause of the discomfort.
“I tend to get a sharp pain in my lower back as well as tightening in my chest.
“I am on some pills for it, but I’m going to another specialist as the original one hasn’t been able to work it all out.
“I did have some cortisone injections, but they didn’t work, so hopefully the new specialist can work it all out for me.”
Newman also admitted she didn’t realize that jockeys Johnathan Parkes and Masa Hashizume had come to grief in a fall in the home straight during the race won by Crafty Jess.
“I was concentrating on getting to the line with Crafty Jess and didn’t realize there had been a fall until Danielle said something when we were pulling up,” she said.
“When I was heading back to the birdcage, I saw the two riderless horses, so I was just hoping everyone was going to be okay.
“It does remind you we are in a dangerous business, but I love what I do and want to keep going for as long as I can.
“I’m not sure what lies ahead when I finish my apprenticeship, but if I can keep getting rides then I want to see just how far I can go.”