A frustrating wait for jockey Tegan Newman ended at Ruakaka on Saturday when she claimed the final two races on the card to bring up her 100th career victory.
The bubbly 26-year-old had been sitting agonisingly on 99 career wins when she had one taken off her due to the disqualification of Explosive Miss from a win at Tauranga in March, however victories aboard Rubyshowoff and Chevron to close out the Ruakaka meeting brought up the special milestone.
Newman, who became a senior jockey in September last year, was thrilled to achieve the goal she had set herself at the beginning of the season.
“It was great to get that weight of my shoulders as I’d been stuck on 99 for a while and then they took one off me with a disqualification, so I was back to 98,” she said.
“I thought I had good chances on Saturday and when I won on Rubyshowoff I was just hoping I could do it again on Chevron.
“He (Chevron) is a really neat horse who I think could go on and win a stakes race next season as he has any amount of ability.
“He has been a little weak and was still going great races and I’ve now won three times on him.
“He put them away easily on Saturday, in fact I got quite a shock in the home straight as I was waiting for the challenges to come and when I looked up at the big screen, I realised we were miles in front.”
While Newman has finally got to the 100-win mark she admits it could have come a little earlier if not for some considerable time spent on the sidelines due to injuries she has received from various falls and incidents over the past five years.
She spent the first four months of 2021 recuperating from a nasty trackwork fall that has left her with ongoing issues in her chest and back that require regular physiotherapy sessions and the use of painkillers, while earlier this year another fall saw her off the scene for eight weeks after suffering a brain bleed due to a head injury.
“I think I must have made my physio an absolute fortune in the last couple of years as I seem to be there twice a week on a regular basis,” she said.
“The bad fall I had at the end of 2020 means I still have problems with my back and chest and despite all the therapy, cortisone injections and other remedies they still haven’t worked out what is wrong and causing the pain I get.
“I’ve also been knocked out this season as well as suffering a hip injury in another fall so I seem to be pretty accident prone.
“Funnily enough I said to someone the other day I hardly ever fall off at trackwork, just at the trials and at the races and the next morning I got dumped off one at the track so I probably just should have kept my mouth closed.”
Newman currently sits on 35 wins for the season, just two short of her record of 37 set in 2020/2021 and is keen to establish a new mark before the end of July.
“I really wanted to set a new record and to get to 100 wins during this season, so I’ve got one in the bank and hopefully the other is not far away,” she said.
“I feel like things are finally falling into place for me and I have a number of people to thank, especially the trainers and owners who have stayed loyal to me.
“Having that support means so much and hopefully I can repay them all by winning as many races as possible.
“I also managed to win my first stakes race this season on Langkawi (Listed Kaimai Stakes, 2000m) which was a massive moment as it was either the first or second day back riding after the break for the concussion I suffered and it was also on my home track.
“Those are the moments we all ride for and the reason why I love racing so much.
“With all the issues I’ve had people probably think I’m mad going out there every day, but I just love it and if you have that passion, you just want to be involved as much as you can.”
Newman hasn’t really set any goals for next season yet, preferring to think about that when she takes some time off at the end of the month.
“I going to Queenstown with my sister at the end of July so I’m sure there will be some mischief we can get into down there,” she said with a chuckle.
“It will be nice to have a break and recharge for the new season, so I will probably have a think about what I want to achieve in the next twelve months while I’m away and then come back raring to go.” – NZ Racing Desk