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Four new faces welcomed to Apprentice Academy

Four new faces have been welcomed to the Racing SA Apprentice Academy, as Polly Brewster, Sophie Mitchell, Brooke King and Monika Wolanin signed their official paperwork on Monday.

The four new riders will be formally inducted at a ceremony at Morphettville on Thursday.

Brooke King (bottom right) boasts an impressive pedigree with her mum Raygan riding almost 100 winners and claiming a Dux of the Racing SA Apprentice Academy during her riding career. Having graduated through the pony ranks, 16-year-old King has spent the past few years riding track work for her step father Dion Koch where she’ll be based at Strathalbyn.

“Brooke has some big footsteps to follow given what her mother Raygan (Rayner) achieved during her riding career here in South Australia,’’ Racing SA Apprentice Academy Manager Briony Moore said.

“Brooke has lived and breathed racing from birth and it really shows in her depth of knowledge and ability to take on feedback and learn from it,’’ she said.

Boasting a background in Arial Acrobatics, Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, Monika Wolanin (top left) has worked as a track rider in various stables around Australia for the likes of Chris Pollard, Mitch Newman and Anthony Cummings. For the past year Monika has worked for the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas stable and will be indentured to Darryl Carrison at Morphettville.

“Monika comes in as a mature age apprentice but has a high level of determination,’’ Racing SA Jockey Coach Dean Pettit said.

“Her riding has improved since actively engaging in the Trackriders Professional Development Program which is the Academy’s pathway program and she boasts a high level of strength and fitness from all the other sports she currently trains in,” he said.

Polly Brewster (top right) is a former top BMX rider who competed for Australia before making the move into thoroughbred racing. She started out with the Sue and Jason Jaensch stable at Murray Bridge before joining the Ryan Balfour stable on a casual basis and is currently working for her new bosses - South Australia’s leading trainer Richard and Chantelle Jolly.

“Polly’s can-do attitude and want to keep improving herself and her riding is infectious,’’ Racing SA Apprentice Academy Manager Briony Moore said.

“She has been actively engaged in the Trackrider Professional Development program for the last 18 months.

Based at Murray Bridge, Sophie Mitchell (bottom left) started as a casual stablehand working with local trainers Karen Byrnes and Kylie Huxtable before spending time with the Michael Hickmott stable. She spent a year working for the Tony and Calvin McEvoy stable as a track rider and will be indentured to Murray Bridge trainer Kristi Evans.

“Sophie has come a long way in her journey since deciding she wanted to become an apprentice jockey,’’ Racing SA Jockey Coach Dean Pettit said.

“She has committed 100% to this journey and has thrived since joining the Kristi Evans stable, we can’t wait for people to see Sophie’s potential,’’ he said.

For all those wanting to join the Apprentice Academy, or to find out more about the intake process, click here.

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