Aaron Mitchell’s salute at the end of the Decron Dunroe Steeplechase summed up best the magnitude of what he had achieved with a win at his first ride over the jumps.
The 24 year-old Mitchell had time to ease Michelin (NZ) down and enjoy the closing stages as the crowd clapped him to the winning post as he took out the Decron Dunroe Steeplechase at Warrnambool.
Mitchell said the race itself was “a bit of a blur” but the Patrick Payne trained, Michelin, made it look easy for him.
“I had a little look just to make sure but I was feeling it in my legs, I know that much, and I’ve got a lot of fitness to come but it is very exciting crossing the line,” Mitchell said.
“Jumps racing wasn’t something I was keen to do (initially) but working for Paddy for two years now, I just have to thank him as well. I wouldn’t be here without his support along the way.”
Mitchell had a successful career as an apprentice in his hometown of Perth before coming to Victoria where he rode predominantly in the country.
Mitchell was also struggling with his weight and quit race riding two years ago.
While he was working as a track-rider, Payne convinced him to try his luck as a jumps jockey.
“Jumps racing wasn’t something I was keen to do (initially) but working for Paddy for two years now, I just have to thank him as well. I wouldn’t be here without his support along the way,” Mitchell said.