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'This is just a weekend job': 19-year-old Tipperary student wins first race a day after getting jockey licence

A business student at Maynooth, Emma Doyle rode Northern Surprise to victory in the BetVictor Handicap.

The Tipperary native received her jockey's licence on Thursday before claiming her first win in Dundalk a day later.
The Tipperary native received her jockey's licence on Thursday before claiming her first win in Dundalk a day later.

IT WAS AN unforgettable day to cherish for Emma Doyle on Friday in Dundalk, as the 19-year-old won her first race just a day after receiving her jockey licence.

The Tipperary native piloted Northern Surprise to victory at the BetVictor Handicap in Louth, with the racehorse owned by her mother Claire and trained by her father Tim.

“I honestly couldn’t believe it,” she said speaking about her debut win shortly afterwards. “He just kept picking up down the straight. I was barely touching him.

“I knew him from his good days when he won three around here and he loves to come wide. Not a bother on him, he tried to run away on me coming back!

“I should know him a lot better but he is dad’s pet, he rides him out every single day. I know him well enough at this stage.”

The Moyne native is currently completing a degree in business and marketing at Maynooth University, but admitted that racing was still a part-time endeavour at the moment having only received her licence on Thursday.

“I’ve ridden in a few schooling races but it is much different out there. It was a lot faster,” she said.

“I wanted to drop in and just kind of get a schooling around but it worked out a whole lot better for me.

“I’m 19 and I’m in my second year at Maynooth so this is just a weekend job really.

“I’m studying business and marketing. The three-and-a-half hour journey up paid off — hopefully for the winter he’ll give me a few chances.”

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Aaron Gallagher

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