Super Kevin Phillips' pride at jockey daughter Tia’s racing start
Former Albion and Villa striker Kevin Phillips has shared his immense pride after daughter Tia made her horse racing debut.
Tia, aged 18, guided Lovely Lou Lou to an eighth-placed finish in Monday's Betway Amateur Riders' Handicap at Wolverhampton Racecourse.
It was the teenager's first outing as a jockey – on the horse trained by John Ryan – and delighted dad Phillips said: "I couldn't be more proud of her.
"It was an incredible day. I know how nervous she's been.
"She only got her amateur licence a couple of weeks ago, but (trainer) John was ken to get that first race on the board quickly.
"It was good it was at Wolverhampton as it's quite a soft surface being all-weather.
"I could tell she was bricking it a bit beforehand, but she got into it once it started.
"She did really well for three quarters of the race – about fourth – and then just a little bit of fitness came in towards the end.
"But it was an amazing feeling, seeing your daughter doing something like that – what is quite a dangerous sport.
"The main thing was she got through it unscathed, so we're so proud of her."
As part of her journey to becoming a jockey, Tia spent several weeks on an intensive course at the British Racing School in Newmarket.
"She only turned 18 just before Christmas and has always been into horses, and then started riding properly a couple of years ago," said ex-hotshot Phillips.
"She spent several weeks at the British Racing School. I thought I had it hard as a footballer, but she has put so much in to get where she is now.
"It's been a journey for her. I remember when I made my debut for Watford and how much of a rush it was, and she was absolutely buzzing afterwards."
Tia is hoping this is just the start of a successful career in horse racing.
And on when her next race will be, father Phillips added: "Because she's amateur there's only so many races she can take part in.
"Hopefully, she'll be back racing in the next 10 days or so, though."