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Taranaki return for apprentice

17 October 2017, 1:50 p.m.

Amanda Morgan will be heading back to familiar territory to ride at New Plymouth.

The 27-year-old, who hails from Taranaki, will be in action on apprentices’ day at the Pukekura Raceway on Thursday week.

Amanda Morgan Photo: Race Images South

“I’m from Hawera and I started out there with Jim Litt,” Morgan said.

“I did pony club with his son and then started riding trackwork and Jim said I was light enough to be a jockey.

“It’s not something I had dreamed about doing, but here I am now and loving it.”

Morgan, who has a career tally of 63 winners, isn’t from a racing family and after initial surprise at their daughter’s choice of employment, parents Phil and Heather are supportive and follow her career closely.

“Dad doesn’t mind a bet now,” she said.

After a year in Hawera, Morgan moved south to join Michael Pitman, now training in partnership with his son Matthew, and the shift to Riccarton resulted in her best season in 2013-14 when she rode 33 winners. She subsequently took time off to travel overseas.

“I had a break and went over to Europe and then came back to do the last year of my apprenticeship, which finishes next April,” she said.

Morgan is looking forward to catching up with family and friends during her brief northern venture.

“I’ll stay with Mum and Dan for a night, but I have to be back for Riccarton on the Saturday,” she said. – NZ Racing Desk.