Scarlet So has travelled all the way from Hong Kong, via Tasmania, to ride horses in South Australia.
Scarlet is an apprentice jockey who started riding in races just over a year ago.
“I had my first ride in a race on my birthday, April 19, 2019,” Scarlet says.
“It was in Tasmania on a horse called Gee Gees Can Tell.”
When coronavirus saw racing suspended in Tasmania recently, Scarlet and the Hong Kong Jockey Club decided she should continue her apprenticeship in South Australia. She is now with the Morphettville stable of Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas, and has ridden at a handful of meetings around the state.
Scarlet, 24, says even in high school in Hong Kong she was determined to become a jockey.
“When I finished my high school I spoke to people about it,” she says.
“My brother was one year in front of me at school and joined the Hong Kong Jockey Club as a track rider.
“He told me to give it go.”
It was eventually decided Scarlet’s best chance of gaining experience with horses was a trip to Australia, and she duly spent a few months with the McEvoy stable in the Barossa several years ago.
Her current stint is her second trip to Australia and she is clearly enjoying the experience.
“Everyone’s helping me in the stable,” she said, “and all the staff are treating me really well.”
Scarlet, who has 27 career winners to her name and can ride at 49kg, is looking forward to landing some winners in South Australia. Away from the track, she likes to unwind by working on her “fitness and running”.
“I like to ride the mechanical horse too,” she said.
“And sometimes I watch a movie just to chill.”