Big Goals for Steph Ahead

Dec 05, 2017

A winning treble at Moonee Valley last Friday night has reinforced the rise of teenager apprentice Stephanie Thornton, who intends making the most of potential opportunities this summer.

Thornton, who is now based at Cranbourne under the guidance of trainer Mick Kent, now has six metropolitan winners and the 18-year-old said she plans on adding substantially to that tally as chances emerge for in-form apprentices over the summer months.

"It's a window of opportunity for apprentices to use their claims and it's a time that I've definitely got to try and take advantage of," Thornton said on Monday during trackwork at Cranbourne.

"It (city treble) was great because I've not long started riding in town.

"I had my first winner back in July at Sandown and that was my second treble and to make it at metro level was very exciting.

"At this stage I've got 10 wins left on my (1.5kg) claim in the country so for me the ultimate aim is to outride my country claim and then utilise my three-kilo claim over the summer months."

Thornton is able to enjoy her rise in the racing game with her two brothers Damien and Boris, who are also impacting in their riding careers.

"We're a very close-knit family and to be able to share this with both of them is just great," she said.

Thornton has identified a handful of horses that she hopes to be able to continue her association with this summer.

"Belwazi - a horse of Jerome Hunter's - was a super win (last Friday night). It think she's a really nice filly on the up and fingers crossed I can stick with her.

"Camilla Lucinda - I think she's going to back up on Friday night - and I think she's also a horse on the up. There were a few gears changes with her last Friday night and that really seemed to improve her.

"There's a horse I won three in a row on of Mick's (Kent) last preparation, Princeton Spirit. He's a really nice horse."

While Thornton is enjoying her ride in the racing game, she has to make sacrifices. Before she came into racing, Thornton was heavily involved with eventing, but since becoming a full-time rider, she has been forced to put that pursuit on the backburner.

"It will always be a big part of my life," she said. "It's where I first learned to ride a horse.

"It's where I gained my balance with a horse and I definitely miss it.

"I spent a lot of time doing it and Mum spent a lot of time running me all around Victoria and interstate to compete.

"If I had the time I'd definitely still do it but racing is my career now and it's what I want to focus on. But, fingers crossed I can come back to it one day."