Tahlia Hope has ridden 16 winners from her past 50 rides and took special satisfaction from her victory aboard Invincible Al at Moonee Valley last Friday night.

It was her first night competing under lights at Melbourne’s premier night venue and a ride that has given her confidence that she can compete on the big stage.

“It was really good, I wasn’t expecting to win on my first night but Invincible Al is a good horse,” she said.

“I’ve ridden him a fair bit in track work and couple of times race day so it was definitely good to get a winner for Patrick Payne and the owners.

“I was lucky enough to get a look at the track because my first ride was in a 3000m race.

“It is definitely different, you are playing a different ball game, you are up against the best jockeys out there.

“I was still in shock after the win, I had a lot text messages and messages from people congratulating me.”

Hope, the daughter of trainer Shannon, has only been back in the saddle since early September after injury halted her apprenticeship.

“Ever since I have come back from injury been in good form and support of trainers of late,” she said.

“My Dad said, ‘First day back you need a winner and people will start to remember you again’ but it is good now that I’ve started to get the winners up.”

Hope is one of the brightest lights in the Racing Victoria apprentice program and was at headquarters on Monday morning as part of the education program.

“They have helped me a lot with my riding, and also growing up, I was pretty shy when I first came here, I wouldn’t talk to too many people,” she said.

“It has helped me come out of my shell, helped me understand form and how races are run and I feel it has been a great help to my career.”


Brent Zerafa @ Racing.Com

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