If you spend ten minutes talking with apprentice jockey Jasmine Fawcett you will soon learn that her success is no fluke. The 25-year-old New Zealand-based rider takes a positive psychological approach to her profession and draws heavily on several mentors.
“Recently I’ve transferred to Toby Autridge’s stable,” Fawcett said. “After every race meeting we sit down together and go through every single race and he’ll tell me what I did right, what I did wrong, where I saved an inch and where I lost an inch.
“We’re taking things to the next level, because I believe I’ve got the natural ability, I just need some guidance to put it all together.”
Autridge isn’t Fawcett’s only coach. Her uncle, 1976 rugby All Black Kit Fawcett, is another key influence in her life. “He coaches me mentally. You’ve got to work hard to get results and I’ve got no distractions. There’s just one thing that I want to achieve and that’s riding winners,” Fawcett said.
“I’m not the fittest and I’m not the strongest, but I believe that, if I work harder than everyone else, then I can outsmart them.
“I just always want to be better than average. I want to be good, I want to be the best that I can be. I’m not here to mess around. I’m not playing around and I take it seriously.”
That determination has led the former New Zealand Mounted Games representative to claim her first stakes win aboard Emily Margaret in the New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton Park last Saturday.
“Winning a stakes race was a big goal of mine and, now that’s ticked off, I’ve just got more to look forward to achieving. It was a huge feeling for me and I’m very proud and grateful to have had the opportunity,” she said.
Fawcett rode the Kevin and Pam Hughes-trained filly to second on debut in May, a ride she is quick to credit her agent Tony Raklander for securing, having never ridden for the Hughes stable previously. She then re-joined the daughter of Pins for her maiden win earlier this month.
“She’s definitely strengthened up and she felt a lot smarter underneath me, she was thinking and she knew that she was a racehorse and she knew that she had a job to do out there as well. She was in the zone as much as I was,” Fawcett said.
“She’s definitely up there with being one of the smartest fillies I’ve ever sat on. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to ride her and it is my goal to stick with her.”
Emily Margaret is being aimed towards the G1 Gavelhouse.com 46th New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Fawcett is confidently putting her case forward for the ride.
“They have not guaranteed me the ride, but in saying that they don’t have a reason to take me off her,” she said. “It’s always a bit of a risk putting an apprentice on in a Group race but then again, I know the horse, I know the racecourse and I follow instructions.
“I don’t see a reason not to put me on. I’m confident and I’ve proven once already that I can handle the pressure so I don’t see why I can’t do it again.”
Outside of riding at Group level, Fawcett’s goals for the 2018-19 racing season are to ride 70 winners and win the apprentice jockey’s premiership.
She finished runner-up to Sam Weatherley in the premiership last season after recording 51 wins in what was her first full season of race riding.
She may not have appeared in the TRC Global Rankings top 500 jockeys yet - that's based on Group and Graded spaces - but it may be a good idea to watch this space!