A week away from racing has done wonders for apprentice jockey Courtney Bellamy, who’s riding in career-best form.
Before heading on a holiday to the Barossa Valley, Bellamy scored a win at Coffs Harbour on November 30 and backed that effort up with a treble at Kempsey on December 2.
During that stellar run, the 21-year-old won races for her father, Brett Bellamy, and fellow trainers Sally Taylor, Robert Agnew, and Dwayne Schmidt.
Upon her return, the young hoop continued where she left off, bringing up a double on her home track at Coffs Harbour on Saturday.
Again riding for her father, she won on Raised By Wolves ($6) in the 1315m Benchmark 50 Handicap before making it a race-to-race double to round out the meeting, winning on the Daniel Wheeler-trained Theregos ($6.50) 1012m Benchmark 50 Handicap.
“Everyone kept saying I should go on holidays more often,” Bellamy laughed when interviewed by NSW Country and Picnic Racing.
“After bringing up that treble at Kempsey, I left for Adelaide for a week and visited the Barossa Valley and Mum’s side of the family.
“It was super to ride four winners in a week, and then to come back and ride two more winners, it means I’m still on the right track.”
Bellamy has enjoyed much of her success with her father, but of late, more and more trainers are seeking her services.
“It’s definitely a win riding for different trainers and other people noticing me and seeing that I’m doing well,” Bellamy said.
“They’re feeling confident putting me on, and it’s definitely been a confidence boost getting the best results I can for them.
“I’ve ridden winners for Tony Ball and Robert Agnew, and Sally Taylor and Dwayne Schmidt are trainers who I’ve previously had a couple of rides for without winning, and it’s good that they’ve come back to me with something that was a chance and for me to get the job done.”
While still indentured to her father, Bellamy has been doing a lot more work with fellow Coffs Harbour trainer Donna Grisedale and her husband and leading Northern Rivers jockey, Jon Grisedale.
“I’m still with Dad, but for the last three to four months, I’ve been in the Donna Grisedale camp and working for them every morning before I go to Dad’s for work,” Bellamy said.
“It’s been a different experience from being with my Dad, where I’ve been my whole life. I’ve gained some knowledge and really enjoyed working for them; plus, they support me as well.”
Bellamy believes having a new manager in Nathan Daniels and working with leading jockey coaches at the recent Apprentice School session have put her on the right track for success in 2024.
“I’ve got a new manager now, and he got me a ride in the Rising Star race at Gosford, and that was another provincial race and a new track to race at, and things are going well”, Bellamy said.
“A couple of weeks ago, I headed down to Wyong to the provincials for two rides for Allan Kehoe, and that was a good opportunity to go to another track I haven’t been to.
“It’s been good, and to be honest, ever since I came back from the Apprentice School a couple of months ago, I’ve been really switched on.
“I went down with Corey Brown, John Powell, and Scotty Thurlow, and they helped a lot, and I came back a lot more switched on, and I’ve just been riding a lot better.”
Bellamy, who scored ten winners in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons, is already up to nine victories in 2023/24 and 31 overall.
The two-kilogram claimer has set herself the goal of reaching 50 career wins before the end of the current season.
“This season, I am going out there to outride my two-kilo claim,” Bellamy said.
“I need 19 more winners, I believe, and that will be the goal.”
Bellamy will get her chance at Kempsey on Monday when taking six rides on the seven-race program.
Anyone looking to book Courtney Bellamy for future rides can call Nathan Daniels at 0408 693 372.