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A conversation with… Jockey Maggie Collett

SA-based apprentice jockey Margaret ‘Maggie’ Collett scored her biggest career win recently when the Will Clarken-trained Handsome Return won the 2020 City of Port Augusta Cup. Maggie, who moved to South Australia from Melbourne late last year, is indentured to the David Jolly stable. We asked the 22-year-old about her career to date.

  1. Was the win on Handsome Return your first cup victory?

Before the Port Augusta Cup, I won the lead-up race, the Squatters Cup, on one of our stable favourites, Fulton Street. 

  1. How did the Port Augusta Cup win feel? Was it your most special win so far?

I was thrilled when I reached the finish line, as it dawned on me that I had won the cup at one of my favourite tracks. It’s certainly a day I won’t forget. But my most special win so far would have to be my first win on With Gravy. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for two weeks after it. It was extra special because ‘Gravy’ was one of the stable favourites and was adored by the whole team. My partnership with Gravy only grew stronger after winning on him again when I rode him at Murray Bridge the second time.

  1. How long have you been race riding for now, and what are you enjoying about it?

I started race riding in December 2019. I enjoy the competitive side of racing as well as the development of skills that comes along with progression over time. I also love hearing back from my mum, sister and granny every night after a race meeting. My family have been my biggest supporters throughout my time in South Australia. 

  1. You seem to have a pretty high winning percentage at the moment. What do you attribute that to?

I am very fortunate to be able to receive the support I get from trainers and owners. I believe the horses are very well placed in their races and I also have my very dedicated manager to thank, Darryn Murphy. 

  1. What has been the most challenging part of being a race rider?

The most challenging part of being a race rider in South Australia for me would undoubtedly be leaving my family, friends and everything I know back home in Melbourne. I have always struggled with homesickness since the day I moved to Goolwa. My family have gone above and beyond for me. Rarely did I go more than three weeks without seeing my mum before COVID-19 hit. I don’t go a day without calling my parents and twin sister.

  1. What’s your next goal in the industry?

My next goal is to outride my country claim and start chipping away on my provincial claim as well. My biggest goal at the moment is to get my metro licence. This will be my next step forward in my career.

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