YOUNG Bendigo driver Taylor Youl is soaking up the knowledge in the latest exciting phase of her harness racing career.
The 18-year-old has joined astute trainer David Miles' team at Romsey after bidding goodbye to Bendigo about a month ago.
Youl has relished the step out of her comfort zone as she looks to further establish herself in the industry she has loved from a young age.
She was stoked to repay the faith shown in her by Miles by driving her first winner for the stable at Bendigo's Lord's Raceway on Tuesday night.
Youl got the job done on one of her two favourite horses from the Miles camp Reign Maker, who notched up his seventh win at career start number 61, and his first since February 11 this year.
While his $34 starting odds suggested the six-year-old Bettors Delight gelding's all-the-way win was somewhat of an upset, it was nothing of the sort to his young driver.
"I've driven him his last couple of starts - he's been going good, but he's been a bit unlucky," said Youl, who nominated stable newcomer Arggghhh as her other favourite.
"His work has been good, so it wasn't really that surprising that he won. He definitely shouldn't have been that price.
"I thought it would all come down to his start, so once I got the front I thought he was always likely he was going to win."
Youl, who has driven Reign Maker in each of his last three starts, is hopeful of retaining the drive.
She remains grateful for the opportunities afforded to her by Miles since her arrival at Romsey.
"He's given me a few drives here and there - he's been fantastic," she said.
"There are about 30 horses here (at Romsey), so plenty to keep us all busy.
"David is in England at the moment, so it's basically Jayden (Barker), Nick (Beale) and I here at the moment.
"Being over there, I don't even know if he knows the horse won."
Reign Maker was one of four drives for Youl on Tuesday night.
While it did not result in a win, a highlight for Youl was a creditable fourth on the well-performed pacing mare Boxofchocolates, trained by her uncle and the undoubted biggest influence on her young career to date Kent Harpley.
A late bloomer, the daughter of Union Guy and the mare Hellenback, kicked off her career in style with six straight wins as a five-year-old in 2020, and has won seven of 16 starts overall.
Youl has driven Boxofchocolates in each of her past two runs, but expects to soon relinquish the reins once the mare starts tackling some metro races.
"She's a nice horse; she likes the mile better than the 2100m, but she still got home good (on Tuesday night)," Youl said.
"I'm hoping there's plenty of wins ahead for her.
"I won't be driving her as I don't have my metro licence just yet and that's where she'll be headed."
Youl, who only had her first race drive last October, and scored her first win a month later aboard the Harpley-trained Harts Last at Maryborough on November 26, is starting to see more opportunities flow her way.
She will drive Rocks Arnts Pets - a winner of three and placed twice in his last six starts - for Junortoun trainer Gary Donaldson at Geelong on Friday night and has the one drive for Seymour trainer Jan Murray on Ringer Russ at Shepparton on Sunday.
Next Tuesday, she will be back at Lord's Raceway like she's never been away.
"I miss the family a little bit, but it (the move) has been good," said Youl about her switch to Romsey.
"But I still manage to get home a bit, which is great."
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