Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Mitch Goring finally tastes that winning feeling

15 April 2024

Share this page

Share on a platform

Or copy the page link

By Jordan Gerrans

It all finally feels worth it for smiling apprentice jockey Mitch Goring now.

All the hours spent in the gym or the sauna, the years dieting, the countless horses he has galloped around in track work to get his fitness up.

All the sacrifices he had to make in his personal life to focus on his weight to be ready to ride.

The 20-year-old hoop grabbed the maiden victory of his career in the saddle at Thangool on Saturday afternoon with the young rider declaring that he finally understands why tall jockeys put in all those hours behind the scenes to be fit and right for race day.

“The thrill you get from winning and the success that comes with it – it gives you a real good kick and a nice feeling out of it,” Goring said.

It has been a terribly long journey for Goring to nab his first race riding win in the Sunshine State.

The Sunshine Coast-based youngster had his maiden race ride at Kilcoy in June of last year and went more than 20 rides since then without breaking through.

As a tall lad that significantly battles with his weight, it limits the rides he can take on race day.

That is only considering his time in Queensland.

Goring hails from Victoria and he was initially knocked back from their apprentice program so he decided to look north to get his foot in the door.

Joshua Manzelmann Next Racing
Sensationabull

Goring’s father was a jockey and tragically lost his life in a Tatura race track fall in January of 2003.

Cranbourne hoop Mark Goring was thrown off his horse and sustained fatal head injuries in a race at Tatura as a 22-year-old all those years ago.

Following his sad passing, Mark’s widow Emma Goring remained with a two-year-old daughter as well as being heavily pregnant.

Mitch sadly never met his late father Mark.

But, that has not stopped him following his old man into the game he loved, which eventually cut short his life. 

Mitch Goring did not let all those hurdles slow his pursuit of a career as a jockey, like his late father.

While it has not been a year yet since he took his first race rides, the jockey admits that it feels like well over 365 days waiting for that first victory.

It was a Benchmark 45 race at Thangool on a non-TAB program aboard Sensationabull for Mackay trainer Joshua Manzelmann that delivered the emerging jockey the feeling he has long craved.

He scored by just under a length over 1075 metres.

Apprentice jockey Mitch Goring.

“You rode him a treat and couldn’t be happier for you to get the win,” Manzelmann said on social media around handing the hoop his maiden victory.

“Keep working hard, more success to come.”

Mitch would not have known where Thangool was on the map of Australia when he moved to Queensland a year or so ago but the regional town will now always be etched into his memory bank forever.

“I cannot actually explain the feeling to anyone, when I crossed the line I was pretty numb,” the young hoop said.

“I actually trotted the horse for a little while and let it soak in.

“It was a big sense of relief as there have been so many hurdles I have had to jump across – injuries, weight, head and all the above. To finally get the first winner off my back, hopefully it keeps rolling now onto bigger and better things.”

Goring is indentured to Adam and Dallas Simpson at Caloundra.

He admits that it has been a frustrating run since making his debut, riding six minor placings and going so close on a number of occasions before finally nabbing the much-needed win.

Apprentice jockey Mitch Goring riding at Kilcoy on his first day at the races. Picture: Darren Winningham.

The youngster took a break from race riding in the back end of last year to refresh mentally.

He believes he has come back more focussed and determined after working closely with a dietitian and personal trainer to get everything in order.

The up-and-coming pilot says the last three months is the best he has mentally felt at the track on race day.

“Because I was getting so close so many times, it was half frustrating me but I never thought I wanted to give up,” the apprentice said.

“I thought about having a break at times just to have a good think about it because of the strain it was putting on my body, which then made it harder mentally.

“After Saturday, I can see why a lot of taller jockeys like me and successful ones like James Orman – who is someone I look up to – do this.

“I never got to experience that feeling before Saturday and I wondered why some jockeys stuck around for so long when they did struggle with their weight and it is tough on their body – but I can understand now.”

Goring took four rides at Thangool on Saturday and picked up one other minor placing.