Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Adams right at home in the saddle

Tatura-based jockey Rochelle Adams is all smiles after riding her first winner at Merton on New Year's Day.

HANNAH DRISCOLL January 8, 2014 4:15am

Rochelle Adams steers Chosen Place to her first win at Merton. Picture: Sharon Chapman/Fast Track Photography

Being a jockey is in the blood for Rochelle Adams.

Adams began riding officially in November and already has one win and six placings from 11 rides.

She scored her maiden win on New Year’s Day at Merton on Tatura trainer Cameron Halliwell’s Chosen Place in the fourth race over 1600m, later in the day riding Benalla trainer Darren Stumpo’s Heartofthedevil to third in the 1900m Merton Cup.

She also ran second in the Dederang Cup on Saturday on Stuart Hawkins’ Shot Of Blue.

The jockey gene seems to have skipped a generation, as Adams’ grandfather Kevin Richard Adams was a jockey in northern Queensland.

He died when Adams was quite young so never had the chance to see her ride, but she said his wife Joyce was ‘‘very proud of me’’.

The Mansfield-raised 23-year-old, who rode at pony club all her life, moved to Tatura about six years ago where she started riding trackwork for trainer Kevin Evans.

She still works for Evans and Halliwell, and the local support was important in gaining her qualification.

Her close relationship with the Halliwells made her debut win on Chosen Place that more special.

‘‘It was pretty special. It was pretty emotional between the trainer and his partner and myself, we’re all pretty close,’’ Adams said.

‘‘It really hit home to get a win for them, it makes it that much more special when it comes from home and one of the horses I ride every day. It was pretty amazing.’’

Her favourite horse ‘‘by far’’ was Evans’ eight-year-old Mr O’Postrophe, who she has not ridden in a race yet, but has trialled, and she said she enjoyed schooling him over hurdles.

‘‘It keeps me interested, getting up in the morning’s nothing if I get to jump Mister,’’ she said.

Halliwell’s Chunky is another favourite for Adams and she has already ridden the three-year-old filly to two seconds at Yea and Merton.

‘‘They all think she is slow, but I’m determined to prove them wrong and get a win on her,’’ she said.

‘‘She’s gone out for a spell now, but she’ll be back before the end of the season.’’

Adams said her next challenge was to connect with more trainers to get a few more rides and was grateful to Darren and Peter Stumpo for giving her a chance in the Merton Cup.

Her success in the country cups so far could help her cause, and she will hopefully get another chance on Saturday with Chosen Place nominated for the $4000 Healesville Cup.

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