Bernadette Cooper


Bernadette commenced riding in Queensland in 1990 and in 1993 was crowned Queensland’s first female Champion Apprentice. Bernadette won a further two apprentice premierships at Caloundra and in 1997 she had success in  the Pelican Waters Classic, a race worth $0.5m at her home track..

In 2000 she headed south to ride as stable rider for leading Rosehill trainer Paul Sutherland. Bernadette was very successful, and remains the only female to ride a treble at a Saturday meeting at Rosehill. She won various feature and stakes races including the G3 Japan Trophy at Randwick. Bernadette was an unlucky 2nd in the G1 Coolmore behind champion mare Sunline..  Bernadette rode the winner of the Gosford Guineas, Orange Cup, Dubbo Cup and Moe and Chandon Stakes. She won over 600 races throughout her riding career.

In 2003, Japan’s National Association of Racing demonstrated their appreciation of her ability and issued her a licence to ride in Japan.  Bernadette was only the second  woman to achieve such status. Returning to Australia, Bernadette was the star in an important SBS documentary

 “A Girl, a Horse, a Dream.” This Program  recorded the difficult life of a young lady rider throughout a year on the racing circuit. It also told the history of the hard road to success for all lady jockeys. No longer just a champion apprentice, In 2004 she rode with distinction in Macau recording many trebles, however, a serious fall prevented further progress.. Returning to Australia Bernadette retired from race riding and began a successful life in the media as a Sky Channel racing commentator. With a great knowledge of racing, I reckon her tips are always worth following.