Classy Kirby comes of age

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Email Cameron Newbold
Jockey Brodie Kirby is all smiles after taking out the Fitzpatrick Plate on Long Knife.
Camera IconJockey Brodie Kirby is all smiles after taking out the Fitzpatrick Plate on Long Knife. Credit: Laurie Benson

Like his perfectly timed ride on sprinter Long Knife to secure victory in the $100,000 Tabtouch Fitzpatrick Plate (1230m), apprentice Brodie Kirby is timing his run up the WA jockey ranks just as well.

In his third season in the saddle, Kirby scored his biggest career win on Sunday when booting home Long Knife to win Albany’s richest sprint race.

After five winners in his debut season, which was followed up by 11 winners in 2016-17, the 22-year-old has burst onto the scene with 45 victories already this season that has him in the top bracket of all riders here in WA.

Kirby sits behind only champion William Pike (106 wins) and Chris Parnham (52) in the WA jockeys’ premiership and has one of the best strike rates of any apprentice in Australia.

Trainer Des Attwell and jockey Brodie Kirby.
Camera IconTrainer Des Attwell and jockey Brodie Kirby. Credit: Albany Advertiser

But the quietly spoken Kirby knew the time was right to strike his biggest success of a young but extremely promising career.

He rode the Des Attwell-trained galloper to perfection as he sat second in running and moved off the fence, peeling out from behind leader Secret Minx and defied running down in the home straight.

“His better form has been over 1100m so I thought some of the better city horses would be storming home late,” Kirby said.

“He gave a good kick on straightening and I was waiting, waiting but they couldn’t get him.

“I knew if I got one off the fence, I’d give him every chance.”

Long Knife wins the 2018 Tabtouch Fitzpatrick Plate (1230m).
Camera IconLong Knife wins the 2018 Tabtouch Fitzpatrick Plate (1230m). Credit: Albany Advertiser

Kirby has set his sights on further opportunities at metropolitan level and more of the bigger races around the State after his breakthrough win.

“Confidence is the biggest factor, I just want to keep the ball rolling,” he said.

“Riding winners gives you more confidence.

“Any ride in a big race is awesome but they put faith in me and I’m just stoked to win it.

“I’m the only 3kg claiming male in the State at the moment and I just want to keep improving.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails