Second win: Samantha Munro is led out on Watchword for the Bob Small Bridle (1400m) at the Casino races on Saturday.
Second win: Samantha Munro is led out on Watchword for the Bob Small Bridle (1400m) at the Casino races on Saturday. Jay Cronan

Bridle win suits Sam

SIXTEEN months ago Samantha Munro had no idea who Gai Waterhouse or Bart Cummings were.

On Saturday, the Grafton apprentice took out the feature Bob Small Bridle (1400m) at the Casino races – just her second raceday winner.

Munro has had 26 race rides since she got her ticket in January, scoring the pair of wins and a swag of minor placings.

Pretty good going for a girl who entered the racing game only in 2008.

Munro’s master, Brushgrove trainer Terry Commerford, has a high opinion of his apprentice who he unearthed himself – with a stroke of luck.

“Sam is an extremely talented horseman,” Commerford said.

“She has been around them (horses) all her life and it really shows when you see how she deals with them.”

Munro spent her childhood campdrafting and cutting through pony club, and it was that which led her to Commerford.

“I was driving down the road and I saw this girl riding a pony bareback and I thought ‘Gee that girl sits on nicely,” he said.

“I was short a work rider so I made a few inquiries and found out I knew Sam’s dad and we went from there.”

Munro jumped at the chance to ride the ultimate equine athletes for Commerford, but had to get past a few obstacles first.

“Dad wasn’t too keen on it,” Munro said.

“He told me I couldn’t do it and because I was only a kid I had to accept that.

“But I told him that when I turned 18 I was just going to start anyway so he gave in and that was it.”

Munro’s parents are on the support bandwagon now; as a matter of fact they are the ones driving it.

“Yeah, the parents are great now, they are really happy for me and always wish me well,” she said.

Commerford has only a small team of horses in work meaning Munro is shared around a bunch of local trainers.

But this conditioner knows when he sees a good thing and won’t be letting go of his apprentice any time soon.

“If Sam is lucky enough to escape the dreaded weight troubles then she has a big future ahead of her,” he said.

He also praised the Northern Rivers racing network for helping rear Munro, as it does many young jockeys.

“When you have blokes like Gary Kliese at the tracks explaining all the intricacies of each track to the young jocks it really does streamline their development,” Commerford said.



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