The West

Diamond deeds give apprentices role model
Diamond deeds give apprentices role model

Last weekend's Blue Diamond win for Lauren Stojakovic has been an inspiration for women apprentice riders around the country.

The South Australian jockey overcame a series of injuries to steer Miracles Of Life to victory in the 48th edition of the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.

Emerging WA apprentice Ellie Cockram has a long way to go to savour Group 1 success, but the deeds of Stojakovic and WA riders Kyra Yuill, who won the 2011 Perth Cup, and Alana Sansom (now Williams) have been inspirational.

Cockram always had a fascination for horses but it was her competitive streak which led her to becoming a jockey.

That competitive streak also has seen her fall foul of the stewards.

Cockram, who weighs 48kg, kicked off the New Year on a streak of seven winners in four weeks before her run was halted by a careless riding ban at Ascot at the end of last month.

"I am very competitive and have been a little impatient," she said.

"I've learnt to be more patient, not go too early and look for shortcuts."

The 21-year-old began riding as a student at Helena Valley Primary.

"I am the only one in my family who has anything to do with horses," Cockram said.

"I saw them on TV and in paddocks and I have always loved them.

"I used to help out at the Swan View Equestrian Centre and they gave me lessons in return for work."

Cockram has ridden 42 winners from about 500 rides.

She injured her back in a fall at the Ascot track as a fledgling rider and was sidelined for six months.

"I suffered muscle damage around my spine," she said.

"It was frustrating because I was at the trial stage of my career.

"I rode a treble at Geraldton last month and have ridden a lot of winners in the country, but I would now like to concentrate on the city and provincials."

The West Australian

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