After several years away from raceday riding, Kelly Myers showed no signs of rust when winning aboard the Ralph Manning-trained Liquid Fire in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Stayers’ Championship at Te Rapa on Saturday.
Myers enjoyed being back out on the track competing on raceday but said she was pleasantly surprised by her early success.
“I wasn’t expecting to get a winner, so it was a real bonus,” she said.
Myers took a backwards step from riding a few years ago to focus on having a family and she felt now was the right time to make her return.
“Riding and trying to have children doesn’t go hand-in-hand very well, that is why the riding got put on the backburner,” she said.
“I have had a couple of kids. I have been looking after them and they are at an age now where I felt it was time I could get out of the house and do something else as well.”
While raising children is a time-consuming endeavour, Myers has kept her hand in racing – continuing to ride track work as well as working a number of jobs, including as an apprentice mentor for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.
“I worked as a personal trainer, an area manager for a feed company, and worked for NZTR,” she said.
“I enjoyed working with them (apprentices). It was really satisfying when you see the improvement and see them have success. When you couldn’t do it yourself, it was good to have an interest that way.”
Myers had been contemplating her return for several months but Ralph Manning was the catalyst for her taking the leap on Saturday and she was pleased to reward his faith with a win.
“I had been riding work for quite a long time. I ride work in the morning before my partner goes to work and it all led from there,” Myers said.
“I toyed with the idea (of returning to raceday riding) for a little while, I wasn’t too sure. I ran the idea past a few different people to see what they thought about it, and I didn’t get talked out of it.
“Ralph offered me a couple of rides and that is how I ended up at Te Rapa on Saturday.”
Myers said she is taking a quiet approach with her return and hasn’t set herself any lofty goals at this stage of her comeback.
“I am playing it by ear,” she said. “I want to make sure that I do a good job, I am not half-hearted about it.
“I am hoping to just slot back in and get some support and some nice rides going forward. Ideally, I will be staying mainly locally, just with having the kids."