Jess Eaton is the 'little superstar' Australian jockey and Harry Potter fanatic making magic of her own Down Under

JESS EATON is the 'little superstar' Australian jockey and Harry Potter fanatic who is making magic of her own Down Under.

In fact, racehorses have fallen under the spell of apprentice Eaton so much that at the time of writing she leads the Adelaide jockeys' premiership.

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Trailblazing Jess has got big-name male riders such as Todd Pannell – last year's champ – and Jason Holder trailing in her wake.


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One of her crowning achievements came last Saturday, when she recorded a career-best four-timer at Murray Bridge racecourse.

Jess moved to Adelaide from Victoria to seek out new racing opportunities.

Just six months on she has become the state's most successful jockey and a 'little superstar' in the words of one respected pundit.

Talk about pulling a rabbit out of a hat…

But Jess' rise has not been without her struggles.

And at 27 she is one of the older apprentice riders on the circuit.

The reason for that is a career that was dominated early on by a catalogue of horrendous injuries.

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Jess' boyfriend is respected racing journalist James Tzaferis.

And he is not joking when he says she is 'one of the most injury-plagued people I've ever met'.

James explained to SunSport: "She's older than most of the apprentices she rides against because her career has been halted at various stages by two badly broken legs, a broken nose and a few other minor injuries along the way.

"One broken leg was a raceday incident, another a trackwork fall.

"There were definitely a couple of times when she wondered if it was all worth it but now she's glad she stuck it out."

And it turned out she got into racing not through family tradition but a chance comment from a former trainer.

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James added: "Jess grew up in a non-horsey family with no history in racing.

"She started riding at pony club when she was about 12 and then got a job in a racing yard in her late teens as a way to pay for the upkeep of her equestrian horse.

"One of the trainers she worked for suggested she sign up as an apprentice because she was small and light and the rest is history."

History indeed.

So much so in fact that you can stick Jess' name alongside a growing list of trailblazing female jockeys taking the sport by storm in Australia.

They include the likes of Jamie Kah, Rachel King and Steph Thornton.

But no one by the name of Hermione Granger… yet.


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