Winning treble for Montana Philpot.

Published 21 April 2023

Winning treble for Montana Philpot.

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If ever a young lady deserved a break, albeit not the ones she has become accustomed to, it was Sunshine Coast apprentice jockey Montana Philpot.

At just her second race meeting back jockeying, Montana was (to quote the personable 23-Y-O) “stoked’’ after landing a winning treble at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park TAB races on Thursday.

Montana was the punters pin-up after winning aboard Garnett Taylor trained Bold Comic ($1.60) and Beau Brave ($2.05) and then bookending the program on Peter Fleming’s Tycoon Tori ($2.25).

“It was just an awesome feeling to ride my third treble. I was stoked. It was just so good. It was almost 12 months to the day that I was injured and out until last Friday at the Sunshine Coast”. Montana said.

(The irony is that Montana rode her first TAB treble, again at Callaghan Park at the corresponding April meeting 2022 aboard Bold Halo, Bold and Lucy and Starhattan).

She was starting to make a name for herself when landing her 48th winner aboard Rose of Duporth at Corbould Park on April 24 last year.

At her very next ride less than an hour later on Blue Pacific, Montana’s luck soured when the horse weighing over 500kg lost its footing, flipped over backwards and fell on top of the 50kg lightweight.

Although, Montana would be too polite to say what I can – “racing can be a bitch of a mistress”.

“I broke both collarbones, sustained a broken pelvis, broken ribs and a neck injury as well as a collapsed lung”, Montana told me today while in the next breath laughing it of

As a consequence, she underwent multiple surgeries and spent three weeks in hospital.

After a protracted six months recovery involving a detailed rehabilitation program, Montana was rearing to go again and was back riding track work for her boss trainer Stewart Kendrick at Corbould Park, racecourse.

Then the unthinkable happened one morning when a horse stumbled during track work and she came off.

“It was embarrassing really, pathetic as I fell off”, Montana relived.

Lone behold she rebroke her left collar bone with this episode required intricate surgery resulting in it taking much longer to heal.

“For memory I was out again for another three months. I decided to take my time after that surgery and get my body right and fit before commencing track work again in February. I had to go through quite a process to get back relicensed to ride in races again,” Montana said once again in her cheery manner.

Which brings us to Callaghan Park races on Thursday when more drama, excuse the pun “fell into her lap”.

 Imagine what must have been going through Montana’s mind when the saddle slipped and moved forward on her first ride Bold Comic in the early stages of its race.

“The saddle started to slip from about the 700 metres and I thought to myself this is not good, oh no not good. When we go into the straight, I just steered him out and got out of the way (of the other horses) and the horse just did the rest. I couldn’t ride him much at all and he was just too good and won”, is how Montana described it.

By the time the race was over, the saddle had moved well forward of Bold Comic’s wither and was up around its neck.

In a pleasant change for Montana while displaying outstanding riding skills under duress, it was a case of “all’s well that ends well”.

Montana Philpot grew up in Rockhampton where her father Gus, a former leading Brisbane apprentice trained while her late mother Donna rode successfully.

“I had been riding track work since I was 15 and we moved to Bendigo where Mum passed (killed from a horse accident) and Dad insisted I finish secondary school before becoming an apprentice. It took time as I relocated a few times but eventually it happened when I became apprenticed to Stewart when I was 20”, she said.

Horse related accidents have plagued Montana who has also broken a knee and an ankle since starting her jockeying career.

Once again that unstoppable almost contagious sense of humour that Montana possesses came into play – “I’ve got all of the injuries out of the way early”, she giggled.

With her parents having been jockeys and older sister Jessie 28 successful in the Northern Territory where she became the first female to win a Darwin Cup in 2021, Montana Philpot was born to be a jockey.

Montana not only has “breeding on her side” to be a jockey but better still, she is a gifted natural rider and is destined for stardom with Lady Luck riding with her.

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