Jockey-trainer Tash Chambers makes dual licencee headlines.

Published 15 November 2023

Jockey-trainer Tash Chambers makes dual licencee headlines.

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Rockhampton trainer “Tash” won’t be able to blame the jockey if her horse “Jack” gets beaten at the Sunshine Coast’s metropolitan meeting on Saturday, as Tash will be riding him. 

Bit of a conundrum, isn’t it?

Not at all as ‘’Jack” (stable name) is the talented youngster Age Of Aquarius and Tash is the dual licencee, trainer and jockey Tash Chambers. 

They team together in the $85,000 2YO Handicap (1000m), the first race on the program at the Sunshine Coast’s metropolitan race day at Corbould Park.

What is more, Jack and Tash escaped the notorious “visitors draw” (wide barrier) drawing ideally at gate two. 

Courtesy of Age Of Aquarius, jockey-trainer Tash Chambers made headlines becoming the first dual licencee to win the time honoured Pallarenda Stakes (1000m) on debut at Townsville on October 28. 

“He has come on so well after that win and a little freshen-up and I have kept him fresh . It just made sense to me to try him out on the metropolitan circuit now while he is going and doing so well. There are no races scheduled for the open class 2yo’s in this area for quite some time so that also was a factor. I just can’t stress enough how well Jack has done – he has certainly improved, and the Townsville race has brought him on. The few little gallops I have given him on the track have convinced me about the improvement”, Tash said.

In her dual role, nobody would be in a better position to gauge the improvement factor, as naturally Chambers does all the track work on Age Of Aquarius as well as monitoring him in his daily routine as trainer.

It is never easy for two-year-olds or any Rockhampton horse for that matter to win against city rivalry and while aware of that, Tash Chambers, however, has her share of confidence.

“Really, I would not be taking him down there if he had not trained-on so well and had I not been confident of a good showing. However, in reality it is a very tough field but at least we will have a crack at it” she said.

Afterall, Chambers should know as she did the majority of her weight hindered riding apprenticeship with Gold Coast trainers Allan and Trevor Bailey before finishing with Jillian Heinrich.

During that period about 15 years ago, Tash rode a metropolitan winner at Doomben and knows the Corbould Park circuit well having ridden three winners there.

Her jockeying career has been severely hindered by the “nemesis quinella” jockeys dread – weight and injury, so much so at one stage she left the industry as a fulltime participant to work in the mines.

“My weight spiraled to about 67kg during that time, but I was determined to get back race riding, but it was very hard work”, Chambers said. 

These days she rides about 11kg lighter at around 56kg.

Only for having to spend so much time away from jockeying, not by choice but by necessity, her riding scroll featuring 203 winners would have been much higher. 

While Jack’s win for Chambers in the dual capacity at Townsville she claims to be her “most satisfying” it was also a career pinnacle for dual reasons being her 200th jockeying win.

As a trainer for just two years with minimal starters, Tash Chambers has won six races. 

She and Jack will float on down the Bruce Highway in the earlier hours of Friday morning and base themselves at a Gympie property on race eve. 

Typifying a caring and thinking trainer, she explained her timing schedule.

“It will be the coolest part of the day to travel, and I should beat the heat and Jack be settled in at Gympie before it gets too hot. Also, he will have eaten up by the time we leave Rocky which I think is important. Also, I have a responsibility to look after the other horses here (Rockhampton) as I have a starter at Callaghan Park races on Tuesday and that was another reason I did not want to leave earlier”. 

Tash Chambers is recognised as an animal lover and her motto without having said it, is clearly visible through her actions and training regime being “the horse comes first”.

Let’s hope that pans out for Age of Aquarius and her trainer-jockey at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday. 

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