Emerging South Australian-based apprentice Kayla Crowther will make the bold move to be based at Pakenham as of next week.
Crowther who had a break out season in 2017/18 will be on loan to former South Australian-based trainer Phillip Stokes for three months.
In season 2016/17 Kayla rode 13 winners, but in 2017/18 she improved dramatically riding 79 winners and placing on a further 126 occasions.
This improvement was recognised on and off the track. Crowther gained her first Group 1 ride in the 2018 Goodwood Handicap at Morphettville and was awarded the South Australian Junior Sports Star of the Year Award.
The move will see Crowther ride against some of the best jockeys in Australia, but Stokes is confident that she’ll be able to hold her own.
“She has a lovely relaxed style, she’s well balanced and most importantly she’s a patient rider,” Stokes mentioned.
“We wanted to get her over before the carnival so that she can have plenty of opportunities and feel comfortable out there”.
Speaking at Bordertown yesterday, Crowther couldn’t hide her excitement about the move.
“It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m very grateful that Phillip and his team are allowing me to move and learn against some of the best,” she said.
“The facilities are amazing at Pakenham and I can’t wait to get involved and work hard”.
Stokes who recently made the move to Pakenham from South Australia said he hopes the move will as positive for her as it has been for him.
“The Pakenham facilities are unbelievable, our horses have certainly improved and they’re enjoying working on the quality surface here,” he discussed.
“My son Tommy is currently working there while I’m at the Gold Coast sales and he’s blown away with the set-up.”
While still settling in, Stokes said he’s been fortunate enough to have plenty of jockeys interested in riding track work and riding for him on race day.
“Regan Bayliss and Dylan Dunn have been coming out and helping us regularly and we’ve had plenty of interest in our runners from some of the leading jockeys in the state which is always positive,” he said.
Stokes has been active at the Gold Coast Magic Millions Sales purchasing two yearlings and he is hoping to acquire a few more before the sale ends.
Phillip Stokes, picture Quentinjlang.com