Sue Grills was a trailblazer.
In the late '70s, at the beginning of her jockey apprenticeship, the veteran Tamworth trainer was the only female hoop in the Hunter and North West.
When she surveys the surrounds at Sunday's TAB meeting at Quirindi, she will see five female jockeys.
One of them, apprentice Yvette Lewis, rides for Grills - who was born into a racing family and remains excited about the prospect of unearthing another champion horse.
"There's gonna be more and more women in racing," she said.
"I don't know, not too many young fellas are that keen on riding any more, which is a shame: it's great money and it's a good career. A lot of people says it's dangerous, but I always believe in, what will be, will be."
Getting rides back in the day, she said, "was a bit of a struggle". "But I was lucky: I had Keith Swan and my grandfather behind me. So they gave me rides."
Grills began her racing career as an apprentice jockey under the late Somerton-based trainer Keith Swan. Her former jockey and trainer father, the late Max McGrath, was Swan's foreman - a position she held after she stopped riding. Her grandfather, the late Arthur Gore, was also a jockey and a trainer.
Another of her "great mentors" was her brother Yogi McGrath, who was "a very successful" jockey in the region, she said.
Grills has been married to John Grills, a cattle farmer, for 36 years and they have two grown sons, Andrew and Todd.
She has 26 horses in her stables. The star is five-year-old gelding Burning Crown, who has six wins in 21 starts - including over 1100m at Warwick Farm - for 223,000 in prize money.
"You've just gotta hope you can get that better horse all the time ... Good horses make people," she said.
Two of her best were Border Rebel, who won 14 races including two listed races in Brisbane, and Ollie Vollie, who won more than $650,000 in prize money. "I've had some handy horses - I've been lucky."
She also had the late Tim Bell when he was an apprentice hoop. At age 22 and on a three-month riding stint in Singapore in 2015, Bell plummeted 12 storeys to his death after slipping off a ledge while trying to reach an open window of his condo. He had misplaced his keys.
"He was a gun apprentice," she said.