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By Graham Potter | Sunday, March 12, 2017

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

Take a bow Tiffani Brooker.

The Sunshine Coast apprentice, who is attached to local premiership winning trainer Stuart Kendrick, has gone from strength to strength this season.

On Wednesday at Eagle Farm, on International Women’s Day, Brooker took out the Brisbane leg of the Racezone National Apprentice Series.

That result, while not earth shattering in itself, gave Brooker invaluable national exposure to the point that most enthusiasts now know that Brooker leads the Metropolitan Apprentices Premiership in Brisbane and currently lies in sixth place in the overall Jockeys Premiership.

The fact that Brooker has had more than double the number of city rides this season of all but one of the top ten apprentices in Brisbane is testament to the demand for her services and the implied confidence that demand shows her ability.

True, Brooker might not top any strike rate percentages but her positions on the two Premiership ladders underline what a good season it has been for her.

Success breeds confidence. Confidence breeds success ... and clearly Brooker is currently clearly rolling along very happily in that cycle.

Whether Brooker can go on and claim that Apprentice Premiership remains to be seen. To get there she will have to deal with the challenge of Alannah Fancourt ... and that is going to be no easy task.

Fancourt too can be immensely proud of what she achieved this season and what she has overcome to put herself back in the game.

When sidelined for many months with a serious injury Fancourt stated, ‘Every setback is a set-up for a better comeback,’ and she has proved herself right in so many ways.

Being only four winners behind Brooker from less than half of the number Brooker’s rides, Fancourt’s record speaks for itself. In fact, in theory, Fancourt should have the inside line to the Apprentices’ Premiership given that she has the backing of the powerful stable of multi-premiership winning trainer Tony Gollan.

But there is often that critical difference between theory and practice.

Either way, Brooker and Fancourt have shown how far racing has come in the gender stakes for now it cannot always be said, ‘may the best man win!’

All credit to them.

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Tiffani Brooker
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Photos: Graham Potter
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