After a torrid run with injury the tide has finally turned for Emily Finnegan

Jockey Emily Finnegan knows too well the highs and lows of racing with constant battles with knee and shoulder injuries in the past two years.

But just for a moment those frustrations were parked when a beaming Finnegan steered the Karen Byrnes trained Street Life to a convincing win in the Listed Railway Stakes at Oakbank on Saturday.

Giving the leaders a solid start on the turn Finnegan headed to the outside rail where most of Saturday’s winners had won from, easily accounting for early leader Elderflower.

Finnegan, originally from Ireland and an Australian resident for the past three years, said the win was special.

“It was a massive thrill. Oakbank has been my home for the past three years,’’ Finnegan said.

“I help out (trainer) Barry Brook every second day and the other three days I go out to Murray Bridge to help out Karen (Byrnes).

“I call Oakbank home and this race means more than the other races I have won.

“It’s been quite tough, the injuries, when you can’t go out and do the things you love.

“There are some down days but days like these are why you do it.

“I am here to stay.’’

Finnegan’s victory wasn’t long after Tom Ryan, also from Ireland, won the Great Eastern Steeple on Spying On You. Ryan took to the members’ bar to celebrate with supporters but Finnegan said she would stick to staying in the jockeys’ room.

For now Finnegan is hoping she can stay sound and enjoy some luck after her injury run began in Australia when she injured her shoulder on Adelaide Cup Day 2019.

Beginning trackwork again around Christmas last year the build-up, mixed with physiotherapy and fitness work, has been solid.

Meanwhile Oakbank officials were thrilled with the three-day carnival, particularly last Saturday’s feature day.

Club chairwoman Arabella Branson said it was a relief to see racing return with a crowd, albeit a Covid cap crowd of 10,000 for Great Eastern Steeple day.

“Our resilient and hardworking committee and team are amazing and on their behalf I want to thank all of our fantastic patrons and amazing sponsors for their support which meant the world to us after not being able to host our carnival in 2020,’’ Ms Branson said.

Originally published asLuck of the Irish finally smiles on Finnegan

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