Phillips races to victory

Hannah Phillips has been a jockey for seven years.

By Neesha Sinnya

Nanango jockey, Hannah Phillips, took to the race track at Burrandowan races like a true winner over the weekend.

She raced to victory on John Hamilton’s ‘Oakfield Comanche’ and was reminded of her first Burrandowan meet in 2014.

“My very first Burrandowan I won the cup on a horse called Tornado that belonged to Brenton and Sal Andrew,” she said.

‘Oakfield Comanche’, trained by Janene Armstrong and ridden by Phillips, won race three of the day and raced three wide without cover throughout the race.

Phillips has been a jockey for the past seven years and in that time she has raced at 53 tracks across Queensland and New South Wales.

“My favourite part about racing is winning and certain horses you do get a bond with,” Phillips said.

“There are good stories as well like ‘Oakfield Comanche’ he has won all three of his starts since John’s wife died – it’s nice to keep that positive thing happening when things have been down.”

The 27-year-old jockey was working at the Kingaroy RSL before getting her start in the sport after a friendly competition with her family.

“Dad said let’s get the old jockey saddle out and see who can stay in the jockey position the longest and I took to it like a duck to water,” she said.

Phillips is also a part of special Burrandowan traditions – in 2014 she won Kathy Duff’s silver bracelet, as well as the cup.

The silver bracelet, hand-made by Duff, is in memory of her grandparents who met at the first-ever Burrandowan races 99 years ago.

“The bracelet was won on a horse called Glenfield Avenue, at the time Peter Blackwell was training him so it was a local victory.

“As a jockey, you don’t have a great deal of social life, you are working day in day out year-round so I wear the bracelet to weddings and formal events,” Phillips said.

She said that racing is always dependent on the horse and sometimes plans can change quickly if the animal isn’t happy.

“You can’t force a horse to race, they have to love it,” Phillips said.

“There is no point racing an unhappy horse, so every day you have to listen to them and they will tell you if they are ready to go.

“Happy horses win races.”

The Burrandowan races were an exciting day for racing fans.

‘A good chance’, ‘Foxy Rose’, ‘Oakfield Comanche’, ‘Galapagos’, and ‘Daunting Warrior,’ were the winning horses across the five races on the day.

Phillips also gained a runners-up during the first race on ‘Freedom Reigns’ and a third place in the second race with ‘Takemeoutback’

The Burrandowan Picnic Races committee are looking forward to celebrating their 100th race meet on Saturday, 7 May 2022.