BENDIGO jockey Jess Philpot is prepared to travel and far wide in her pursuit of a winner.
On Saturday that quest took the three-kilogram claiming apprentice to Darwin, where she claimed her first win at a metropolitan venue.
It was reward for persistence and sheer hard work for the 24-year-old daughter of former jockey Gus Philpot. Her last three trips to the racetrack have been in three different states and territories - Darwin in Australia's top end, Echuca in Victoria and Launceston in Tasmania.
Philpot's win aboard the Patrick Johnson-trained Delta D'or edged her closer to her goal of riding a winner in each Australian state and territory.
"There's only two left to go - South Australia and Western Australia," she said.
"I'd like to tick those off as quickly as possible.
"It's been a great experience, riding in different regions, meeting different people in racing, and riding against different jockeys."
Philpot said she was confident of success with Delta D'or, a five-year-old gelding by stakes-winning stallion Master Of Design out of Gold Delta, who boosted his career tally to six wins and two placings from 22 starts.
"I rode him last start and he finished second ... on Saturday he got a nice sit on them and ran home nice," she said.
Philpot intends to return to the Northern Territory for the Alice Springs Cup Carnival, which incorporates five race meetings stretched across four weeks, starting on April 13.
Her trips out of state this year have also taken her to King Island, where she finished as the leading jockey of the club's short eight-meting season.
"The trainer I rode for (Robert Keys) actually won trainer of the year, we got the horse of the year award and I got jockey of the year ... it was a really good season," Philpot said.
"I loved it, it was great experience and really boosted my confidence, getting them around those tight corners.
"It's a lovely place and full of lovely people."
Philpot is apprenticed to Bendigo trainer Mick Sell, who took over the stables formerly occupied and until recently owned by her father before his move to Queensland.
She remains eternally grateful for the support and opportunities that have filtered her way since joining the Sell team.
"(Dad) just sold the stables and the house, but the lady that brought them is looking forward to us staying there," said Philpot, who at one point during her apprenticeship was based in Canberra.
"We'll be there a little bit longer; we definitely don't want to move again.
"It's worked out really well. The stable is going well and I love being there."
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