Savvy advice from the champion jockey to the best apprentice

Savvy advice from the champion jockey to the best apprentice

As a rookie in any sport, reaching your first milestone can be important for your confidence and your career.

In football parlance, it could be your first game or your first goal. As a cricketer, reaching a century can strengthen your position in the team.

There are such thin margins between success and failure at the elite level of the sport.

Achieving that personal goal or achievement is the boost that can help propel your career forward.

On the other hand, if those kicks don’t come early, doubts and frustrations can creep in.

Luke Campbell is a rookie in his chosen career: racing. He is now well on his way to carving out a fine career in the saddle as a jockey.

It’s a job he’s dreamed of since he was five years old and pursued it after giving up an apprenticeship in air conditioning, refrigeration and engineering.

Wise racing heads will tell you that the likeable youngster has the determination, discipline, work ethic and most importantly the skills to become a very good driver in WA and beyond.

Under contract to WA Racing Hall Of Fame inductee Neville Parnham, Campbell is in safe hands and can’t ask for any better mentor to guide him on his way to racing.

But after the buzz and excitement of making his riding debut in January died down, Campbell, eager to make his mark, was running out of patience.

He was desperate to feel the exhilaration of bringing home his first winner.

That euphoria came to the Colin Webster-trained Super Teroitoa in York in March, and coincidentally he followed with Rhino Buster a run later.

Less than a week later, he took his first town win over Wunderkind at Ascot.

Campbell is now well advanced in his chosen sport and is considered one of WA’s best apprentices.

But the budding talent admitted in the build-up to his first success at York, he had private doubts.

After more than 50 races without winning, his frustration was mounting, his pride deflated.

It took the wise advice of a champion jockey, who had a similar experience as an apprentice, to allay his worries.

“In York I had eight races and eight rides,” Campbell told The Races WA.

“My best races were one through six and I ended up winning races seven and eight.

“After the sixth race, I was cooking a bit and I was quite upset.

“I had Chris Parnham come over to me and he said mate, you’re riding great.

“He said don’t worry, it will come and luckily it happened.

“I think it took him 65 rides or something and it took me 66 or 67 for that first win.

“But I’m really lucky to be in the stable that I have with Mr Parnham.

“His three boys Stevie, Brad and Chris always help me and lead me on the right path.

“I’m very lucky that way.”

Campbell’s growing stature was recognized yesterday (Tuesday) when he was crowned Most Promising Junior Rider at the WA Apprentice’s Awards at Ascot.

Racing and Betting Jockeys of Western Australia (RWWA) coach John Claite said Campbell was a deserving recipient of the award.

“He showed natural abilities early on,” Claite said.

“It looks like he’s been riding his whole life.

“He came in leaps and bounds.

“He has a bright future in racing.”

Other winners:

Intern of the Year-Cassey Martinan.

Best Versatile Apprentice – Laqdar Ramoly.

Leading Metropolitan-Lagdar Ramoly.

Provincial Principal-Holly Watson.

First Country B-Austin Galati

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