Family affair as apprentice jockey Elle-May Croot rides her first career winner
It was a dream day for apprentice jockey Elle-May Croot as she rode her first ever winner in the 1m6f handicap on Chipiron, a horse owned by her parents, for her boss Ivan Furtado.
The 19-year-old, who began her career on Chipiron at the track in January, had a nervous wait on the outcome of the photo-finish, but was announced the winner on her 27th ride.
Zoe Croot was delighted to witness the resilience of her daughter pay off and said: "We're over the moon, she's been working so hard. It has been a tough battle because there's been lots of social media messages and things sent when she hadn't done so well. She got to the stage where she was ready to pack it in so today is amazing."
Croot has been working at Furtado's since her schooldays, with her mother explaining: "At the age of 16 she was always going to become a vet and she came home one day and said she had changed her mind and that she wanted to be a racing jockey. She started to go to Ivan's on a Saturday and did really well. When she finished school, on the Monday after she had already moved into Ivan's."
Furtado was pleased to be able to end Croot's wait for a winner, and said: "She's been with us for a long time. It's great for all the team at the yard we're all delighted for her."
Of the Croot family's own celebrations Zoe added: "Elle's gone back to Ivan's to ride out tomorrow. We've had a bottle of champagne in the fridge since she got a licence in December and it's been chilling for when she gets the first winner so that's what we're going to be doing tonight!"
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