Family affair as Waters lands first winner at Tullibigeal

Emily Waters celebrated the first win of her career with her father Mont Waters at Tullibigeal on Saturday. Photo: Racing Photography.

It was an emotional day of firsts at Tullibigeal Picnic Races on Saturday. 

Amateur jockey Emily Waters rode her first winner, combining with her father Mont Waters to win aboard Miracle Knight in the 975m Class B Handicap.

If that wasn’t enough for the popular Southern Districts racing family, Waters then combined with Forbes trainer Barry Molloy to win the 1600m Tullibigeal Cup aboard Caszar.

In a big day for the young jockey, the 23-year-old was tickled pink to land her first winner, especially for her father on Miracle Knight.

“As I crossed the line, I had a cheeky look over my shoulder and knew I got there and started celebrating pretty soon after that,” Waters said. 

“It was absolutely indescribable and to ride my first winner for dad was a dream come true.”

Waters is from a family of picnic hoops, explaining she was the first one to land a winner.

“Dad was so happy. He made a very short career out of riding, and he never got that win, and the joke all along was that I needed to get the win and get one up on him,” Waters laughed. 

“I’m actually a third generation Waters jockey and the first one to win and dad said the curse was broken.

Waters only went to Tullibigeal for the two rides, but she never expected to win a race, let alone land a double, but she was happy to see her father’s Knight Exemplar gelding get the job done after the pair just got rolled at Ardlethan a week earlier. 

“We were hoping for the best, but we were definitely not expecting a win,” Waters said. 

“I begged dad to take Miracle Knight to Ardlethan, and we got pipped on the line and ended up running third.

“Then we backed him up seven days later at Tullibigeal and didn’t know what to expect but then he got it done and he was incredible.” 

Waters win in the Tullibigeal Cup was emotional for not just the amateur jockey, but also the owners, who were starting the Barry Molloy-trained nine-year-old for the final time. 

“I was in absolute shock to say the least when we won,” Waters said. 

“I was talking to the owner Bernie (Kearins) and he was saying it was his last run, and he was spot on and ready to win and it was a good story for them. 

“Bernie grew up in Tullibigeal and that cup was special for them to win, and it made it even more special for me that it was my first cup.

“I couldn’t thank them enough for the ride and I was so glad I could win it for them.”

The Tumbarumba product only kicked off her career in October of last year, and after 13 rides in the saddle, the youngster is starting to feel confident in her own ability. 

“The races are starting to slow down a bit. I can take in a bit more around me and I’m starting to see a lot more,” Waters said.

“The adrenalin is amazing, and I just love riding and being out there.” 

Waters will now prepare to race at Tomingley on Saturday, and she hopes to get more opportunities on the picnic racing circuit as the 2022 season starts to heat up.

“We plan to go to Tomingley next week, and Grenfell the week after, and as long as I’m getting the rides, I will take those opportunities,” Waters said. 

“Picnic racing has taken a hit over the recent years, and we will get out there and support the industry and make the most of it while we can.” 

For full results from Tullibigeal, readers can click here