By Abby Delucyk
Moving ashore from Malmo, Sweden to Australia may have been a lifestyle change for apprentice jockey Julia Presits but her love for horses hasn’t wavered.
Ever since she was a young girl, Julia had an interest in horses and grew up riding equestrian by show jumping or eventing in her spare time.
With her love for horses established, Presits started riding in Sweden just for fun to help out a trainer and before she knew it, she had unlocked a passion.
After touching down in Australia, Presits debuted at the Gosford Picnics and started her Australian riding career with a bang by riding her first ever winner ‘Prospectors Helmet’ in the 1600m Class B handicap in November 2019.
“I have always loved horses and thought it would be fun to give it a go at the picnic races,” Presits said.
“It wasn’t until someone said that I was light enough to give riding professionally a go, that I really thought about it. The trainers at the picnics were joking that they needed a wheelbarrow when they picked up my saddles in the jockey room,” Presits said.
Although her riding career in Australia is recent Presits has previously had a successful riding career in Sweden, riding more than 80 race rides with 9 wins.
Before her racing dreams took her internationally to the shores of Sydney, Julia also held a trainer’s license and trained 17 winners of both her own horses and her sisters.
“Naturally winning is the best part of being a jockey and one day I would love to ride like J Mac,” she said.
Now riding for Gary Portelli, Julia recognises that her favourite ride is when she won the benchmark 64 at Warwick Farm on Walkin’Talkin’ as this was her first metropolitan winner. Presits will look to continue her successful association with Walkin’Talkin’ tonight in Race 8 at Canterbury Park.
“I think the biggest challenge of being a jockey is getting a go and a chance to ride. It’s like any sport and if you don’t ride winners, it can become challenging.
“Someone once told me that it’s 87% about the horse in a race and only 13% the jockey which means if your horse is not good enough, it’s not always easy to win,” Julia mentions.
With previous experience of training back home in Sweden, Julia would like to resume training racehorses one day but not before she gives being a jockey a good shot.
“I want to be a jockey first before I become a trainer as I think you understand racing better if you ride first before training,” Julia said.
As her name is becoming recognisable, Julia sets her sights high with her goal to ride at Royal Randwick in the future.