‘Gundagai girl’ making her mark

Teighan Worsnop is all smiles after winning the Tumut Mile aboard the Georgie Boucher-trained Gwennybegg.

Apprentice jockey Teighan Worsnop grew up in Gundagai and Tumut, attending Tumut High School before moving to Albury to work with her pop, Garry Worsnop, eventually taking up a jockey’s apprenticeship. 

Prior to her move, the now 21-year-old was into barrel racing and cutting, before eventually making the move to the thoroughbred industry.

“I’m a Gundagai girl, I’m a country girl; I did barrel racing until I was 14 and after that, I trained ponies and did some cutting and just rode for the enjoyment,” Worsnop told the Gundagai Independent. 

On Boxing Day 2020, Worsnop made her long-awaited debut at Albury, guiding Prototype to sixth in the 1175m Class One Handicap for Martin Stein. 

Worsnop would have to wait until April of last year to ride her first winner, guiding Full Circle to victory in the 1000m Maiden Plate at Hillston for Jerilderie trainer and master, Phil Sweeney.

Recently, Worsnop was in the spotlight, combining with talented mare, Gwennybegg. 

Teaming up with Jindabyne trainer, Georgie Boucher, the local product recorded her first Tumut victory on Boxing Day and the fifth of her burgeoning career when winning by 11 lengths on Gwennybegg in the 1600m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

On Saturday, Worsnop won the biggest race of her career, and it was again Gwennybegg getting the job done when taking out the Tumut Mile. 

Worsnop, who is typically quite reserved, was tickled pink after the victory.

“It honestly makes me feel fantastic having won this race,” Worsnop said.

“I looked at the form and the field. Like with Crocodile Cod and those other good horses, and I thought to myself, ‘this is going to be the biggest race of the day’.

“We all drew good barriers, and we were all on front runners and to win it; I’m still in shock to be honest.”

Gwennybegg was made to work hard for the lead in the $18,000 feature race, but the six-year-old simply kicked on to win comfortably in the end by 5.51 lengths. 

“I had to give her a little squeeze and I had one on my outside, but we ended up crossing Crocodile Cod early on,” Worsnop said. 

“I had them on my outside trying to take me on, but I just let her roll where she was comfortable and even though there was still a bit to do in front of us, she kept kicking and when we turned for home, she found another leg and won like last time.”

The young hoop only had praise for her mare, suggesting it was more a sit and steer job than anything. 

“Honestly, she makes me look good,” Worsnop laughed. 

Teighan Worsnop and Gwennybegg win Saturday’s Tumut Mile.

“I just kept her where she was happy, and she could see the ground in front of her and wasn’t worried about the others.

“If I was to squeeze her up, it would stress her out, and she didn’t need that. She was happy and I was happy with that.”

Worsnop said she wasn’t willing to look back during the run though, especially after dropping the whip.

“I was second guessing myself. We were pulling away, but that is where the backmarkers can get you sometimes,” Worsnop said.

“So I just kept looking forward, but I dropped my whip, which I’m kicking myself over that, but she kept giving me everything she had, and she was a good winner in the end.”

Worsnop admitted her first 12 months in the saddle was a learning curve, but with experience and winners under her belt, there seems to be more opportunities arriving each week.  

“I did do it a bit tough in my first year, and there are a lot of apprentices, so getting a bit of support was the big challenge, Worsnop said. 

“Now I’ve had small trainers support me, it’s showed in my results and people are starting to see that and they are giving me more rides.”

As far as what the future holds, Worsnop was only worried about one thing.

“I just need to keep riding winners,” Worsnop laughed. 

“That’s the goal. I will keep improving, keep finding people who are wanting to back me and keep riding winners.”

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