Tash rides with thanks in her heart

Appreciative jockey has a busy day ahead in Emerald


Heavyweight jockey Tash Chambers cannot credit the level of support she has received since resuming at the start of the year.

MANY THANKS: Jockey Tash Chambers has overcome a string of obstacles to resume race riding and will be in action in Emerald on May 2.

MANY THANKS: Jockey Tash Chambers has overcome a string of obstacles to resume race riding and will be in action in Emerald on May 2.

THANKFULNESS will ride with Tash Chambers in Emerald on May 2 and every raceday thereafter.

Chambers has rides in seven of the eight races - Brookville, Falvera, Sixes, Swingahinch, The Clang Affair, Stella Starlite and Miss Eimar - and appreciates her good fortune.

"I am really grateful to all those people who have shown me support," Chambers said.

"Since I came back to riding the way people have stuck by me and given me these wonderful opportunities is really appreciated and I feel so blessed to get these chances."

Chambers, a tall woman, has battled weight, disqualification and injury to forge a career on tracks from the Gold Coast to Mt Isa - and quite a few places in between.

"When I started my apprenticeship with Alan Bailey (on the Gold Coast) I weighed 60kgs," Chambers said.

"I guess a lot of people doubted whether I could make it but I got the weight down and rode winners at 53.5kg. But as a heavyweight rider the opportunities dried up after a while and I moved to Mt Isa.

"I did quite well there, riding on the weekend and working in the mines.

"But I wanted to give it another go back in the city and things were moving OK before I fractured my back and soon enough my weight was up again because I couldn't do a thing."

During her absence from racing last year Chambers travelled to Europe and freely admits Italy's sun-kissed Amalfi Coast is a favoured destination.

The desire to return to race-riding never faded and midway through 2019 she laid plans for a comeback. Weight remains a foe but she walks constantly, rides trackwork and follows a vegan diet to keep the kilograms under control.

Trainers Alan Jones (Brookville in the Maiden Plate and The Clang Affair, Class 5 Plate) and Jason Devine (Swingahinch, Benchmark 60 and Miss Eimar, Class 4) have engaged Chambers to ride respective stablemates.

She will also be riding the Peter Fleming-trained Falvera (Carrara-Falverosa) in the QTIS Benchmark 50 Handicap (1100m), Ross Vagg's Sixes in the Maraboon Tavern Benchmark 50 (1100m) and John Heelan's Stella Starlite (Red Element-Indy Rose) in the Benchmark 55 Handicap (1300m).

Former Brisbane rider Jason Hoopert will be a busy man in Longreach on May 3 after accepting appointments for Delilah's Dream in the Greater Western Zone Maiden (1000m), No More Bids (QTIS Benchmark 55, 1000m), Born To Fly (Benchmark 55, 1000m), Zendaye (Arthur Woody Memorial, 1000m), Belar Blue (Members Class B, 1200m) and Buon Natale (Class 5 Plate, 1300m).

Country star French Hussler is the topweight in the Woody Memorial. It will be his 82nd start and Dan Ballard has the mount,

Trainer Todd Austin has started French Hussler, winner of more than $245,000 in prizemoney, only once this year when he finished down the track at Emerald on April 11.

His most recent victory was in Longreach in September, 2019.

Racing Queensland has confirmed the Charleville meeting on May 9 will not have TAB coverage and a race meeting in Emerald set for the same day has been cancelled. As well the TAB card in Roma set for May 16 has been cancelled and a non-TAB program will be run there on May 23.


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