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Keane Swaps Boxing Gloves For Saddle

Thu, Jul 28, 2022

Keane Swaps Boxing Gloves For Saddle
Keane Swaps Boxing Gloves For Saddle

Had her career taken a different path, Dakotah Keane may have been preparing to head to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next month to compete in women's boxing.

Instead she'll be rising before the sun for work at Tony Noonan's Mornington base.

A champion junior boxer, the 19-year-old Warrnambool product turned her back on the sport to pursue a career as a jockey and joined Racing Victoria's elite apprentice program earlier this year.

"I was boxing since the age of 12, I won the 50-52 kilos in Perth, the Australian title, before that I won three state titles," Keane said.

"Once I won a couple of Australian titles, I made the team for the Commonwealth Games, which put me on a path to choose what I wanted to do. I was in love with racing, so I chose to do that path."

It hasn't been a straightforward journey into the saddle for Keane, who was knocked back when she initially attempted to join the apprentice ranks.

"I got knocked back the first year, but it was probably good because I probably wasn't ready to be in it yet, I lacked experience," Keane said.

Keane is indentured to Noonan and the Mornington-horseman is excited by the prospect of the teenager riding in races after an impressive start to her career in racing.

"She came and she was basically a blank canvas, she'd done a little bit of riding down at Warrnambool but had really no knowledge of the industry," Noonan said.

"Her energy and passion for it, she was like a sponge, the more she could do and learn - the better she's become.

"I think in time she's got the makings of a good jockey." 

Not shying away from lofty goals, Keane says she wants to make her riding career a meaningful one and be competitive at the highest level.

"I'm really looking forward to my first race ride," she said.

"Long-term, well I'd love to be a Group 1 jockey, but I hope I just make it and be successful."