Irishman keen to make an impact

Jockey Gary Phillips is hoping Irish eyes will be smiling on him when he makes his Australian race track debut on Sunday as the Irishman aims at making an impact on Victorian racetracks in the coming months.

In Australia on a working holiday, the 25-year-old hoop is hoping to add to his experience and make an impact on the local scene by ridding winners in another country.

He take his first ride here in the last race on Sunday at Moe aboard outsider With Attitude over 1623m.

Phillips has been riding work and trials for Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien over the past two months and he has just gained his race riding licence from Racing Victoria, having completed his apprenticeship in the UK earlier this year.

"I’m ready to go, it’s been a great couple months as I have gained an understanding riding at Flemington and I am looking forward to getting an opportunity now that my licence is through," Phillip said.

The Irishman has ridden 30 winners across Ireland, England and France, and has also had success during a stint in Dubai racing Arabs.

"I have been lucky enough to ride at listed and Group 3 level at home, so hopefully I can get a chance to show my wares here."

Phillips, who can ride at 54kgs, has tuned up for his return to the saddle with trials at Pakenham and Geelong in the past week and said he can't wait for Sunday.

Photo by Darryl Sherer