A failed English venture left Louise Day at a crossroads, the aspiring jockey returning home to Roscommon with an all but shattered dream.
She had tried to launch her racing career across the Irish Sea, but having endured 11 winless starts in 12 months it was time to reassess her ambitions.
When most would close the door on racing, Day left it slightly ajar and looked for an opportunity 17,000 kilometres away from home.
A colleague suggested she try her luck in Australia and no more than three months later, the Irish hoop booked a ticket to Melbourne.
But even there, Day's luck faded. She was turned away for a jockey's licence because of visa restrictions, leaving her at yet another crossroads.
"I went there to be a jockey but when I was told I couldn't be in Melbourne, I decided to forget about that for a year," Day said.
"At the end of that, it was getting the better of me. Racing is a joy and I had to chase that dream again."
It took a third move for Day to realise her racing dream, turning up at Kris Lees' Newcastle stable in 2017.
Now a fourth-year apprentice, Day stands a solid chance to claim Australia's richest race for country-trained horses.
She'll jump aboard Canberra galloper Man Of Peace in the $1.3-million Kosciuszko on Saturday, chasing the biggest win of her career.
"It's definitely the biggest. A huge, huge thrill," Day smiled.
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"Being in one of Australia's biggest races, I try to explain it to people back home but I don't think they can really grasp the concept of it. My family are going to tune in live, definitely."
Day will look to continue her unbeaten association with the Matthew Dale-trained stayer, having led Man Of Peace to four wins in four starts at Randwick.
Her victories on Man Of Peace were part of a breakthrough winter in Sydney, the apprentice having moved to the metropolitan zone during the COVID-19 restrictions.
She's since gained her first group 1 ride, finishing 14th with long-shot Azuro in The Metropolitan on October 3.
In the 2020-21 season, Day has claimed 14 wins and 29 places in 158 starts. She attributes Man Of Peace to helping launch her Sydney career, having started their winning sequence a week after the move.
"He was instrumental in my success in Sydney," Day said.
"He was one of the first weekends I rode and on that day I won a double. I won on him two weeks later, then two weeks after that. He was massive [for me].
"It was a huge risk [moving zones] but it opened a few doorways for me, I got some opportunities I wouldn't usually be given. I got a few winners straight away and it got the ball rolling, one thing has led to another. I'm just really thankful for the opportunities I've been given."
It took until the fourth win with Man Of Peace for Day to secure The Kosciuszko ride, with Dale hoping to continue their great affiliation.
"[Dale] mentioned to me on the phone that he would love to get [Man Of Peace] into the Kosciuszko. He didn't say it at the time and I didn't want to ask him straight out, whether he would let me ride him or not," Day said.
"After the last time I won on him, he said 'you'll definitely be on him in the Kosciuszko if he gets a spot'. Now I feel very honoured and thankful for the opportunity, it's a huge opportunity."
Man Of Peace sits fourth in the line of betting for The Kosciuszko at $12 to win.