The weight lifted from Lisa Allpress' shoulders yesterday as she finally chalked up her 1000th domestic winner to become the first woman jockey to achieve the magic mark in New Zealand.
Weight has never been a problem for the Wanganui jockey, but the wait to crack her 1000th raceday winner had been agonising until she guided the Foxton-trained Kekova to victory in the Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes, the main event on the Wairarapa Racing Club's card at Tauherenikau yesterday.
The diminutive rider had been sitting on 999 wins in New Zealand since last winning on Really Rusty at Riccarton more than a week ago.
And while she went into yesterday's meeting with four "good rides" she failed to greet the judge or even run a place in her first three. With the scratching of the aptly-named Exceeding A Dream in the last race, Allpress was left with Kekova as her final ride for the day.
She has an impeccable record on the David Haworth/Matt Dixon-trained mare having ridden her only once before for a win.
"Thank God for that," was going through Allpress' mind as she approached the winning post on Kekova yesterday.
"I hit the front a bit earlier than I intended to, but she was travelling so well and on the bit I knew she had the favourite covered. The wait hasn't been annoying me so much, but it seemed never ending. I'm just so glad it's over and I can carry on. It felt pretty awesome, though," Allpress said.
With the weight off her shoulders she is hoping the winners will again arrive freely as she heads to New Plymouth on Friday.
"I hope they come a bit quicker again, especially at New Plymouth - I haven't ridden a winner there for a while," she lamented.
Allpress has been signed to the Paekakariki Express' stable of athletes and yesterday Christian Cullen said he couldn't be happier for her.
"She is the ultimate professional. We all marvel at her ability as a jockey but to reach the milestone and to create history the way she has is extraordinary. And people forget that she does all this while being a devoted mum as well," said the former All Black turned sports management company owner.
Allpress' first win came way back in 1996.