A racing academy in Kildare helped jockey Jamie Powell rediscover his live for racing, and now the form apprentice has has ridden two winners in June alone.
Powell is apprenticed to Johnny Murtagh but is riding for a host of trainers and is in flying form. His first winner was in the Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes Handicap on Coumshingaun for trainer Kevin Coleman.
Since then, he has won the high-profile premier handicap, the Rockingham Handicap on Ano Syra for trainer Johnny Feane. It was the second time in just over a week that himself and Feane combined to win a major premier handicap.
However, the 19-year-old from Kildare was not always set to be a jockey. In spite of his late father, Anthony, being a highly successful jockey himself, there was a period when Powell was a kid that he never even watched racing.
That all changed when he found the Racing Academy & Centre of Education (RACE) academy in Kildare.
Speaking from the RACE academy, where he was presenting the he Most Improved Rider Award, an accolade that he himself won prior to his graduation in 2019, Powell joined Friday Night Racing.
"When I was a little kid, about four or five years of age, I was mad about racing," Powell said. "It was all I'd watch on TV.
"When I got to six or seven, none of my friends were interested in racing. It was more kind of soccer and Gaelic, and I started to veer that way a bit and lost interest in racing really.
"Robert, my cousin, was starting to ride a bit and got me interested in it again. There was a period of my life there for five or six years that I had no interest in racing.
"Luckily, when I came here, I just got the bug again."
'I had never sat on a horse until I was 17'
Powell had not ridden a horse at all, having 'lost the love' for the sport when he was around the age of six. When his cousin Robert got into racing, though, Powell found RACE and enrolled after his leaving cert.
"All of the staff and everyone that's involved with it are lovely and always here to help," Powell said. "I came into RACE with not much riding experience.
"I learnt the basics in here, and it's put me in good stead for when I went out on yard placement."
Powell is grateful to everyone that helped him along the way at RACE, and is happy to give back in the way in which he was doing on Friday.
"When I was a little kid, it was [in my head to be a jockey]," Powell said. "Then I fell out of love with the game for a good while. I came back to it then when I was 15 or 16.
"I had never sat on a horse until I was 17. When I came to RACE, it was just about learning the basics. Learning how to tack up and things like that.
"RACE were great to me, and I can highly recommend it to anyone looking to get into racing."