SHE might be just back from her latest globe-trotting adventure in far-off Peru, but Serena Brotherton's focus has switched to challenges much closer to home.

The top amateur jockey is busy preparing for a new season of juggling her career as a lawyer with riding winners in the north of England.

Serena, who works part-time as an associate solicitor for York company Langleys, has amassed 167 winners in an impressive career. That total includes 117 on the Flat, one in a hunter chase over jumps at Fakenham, and the rest on point-to-pointers.

Racing is in her blood. Her grandmother was always involved in racing and her husband was chairman of Beverley Racecourse. Serena’s father David is a respected racecourse steward.

The Middleton Point-to-Point course is on her family’s land and, at 21, she bought a horse called Across The Lake, winning on him 13 times. Then, during the 1990s, she began to take an interest in riding on the Flat and rode her first winner, Flower of Cannie, at York in 1999.

Now 47, she’s highly respected in amateur races in the UK and has ridden in numerous countries around the world, including Morocco, Australia, France, Germany, Hungary and Malaysia.

The rare foray to Peru was the latest tick in the global box and she describes it as “an amazing experience”.

Sarah Oliver, chief executive of the Amateur Jockeys Association, “engineered the invitation” and Serena found herself riding in two races. The first was in a three-year-old maiden on dirt, finishing sixth. That was followed by a better ride in a handicap on turf, with a horse called Thundering Saint running “a blinder” to finish third despite an unfavourable draw.

“I’ve been very lucky to ride all over the world and going to Peru was another wonderful opportunity,” says Serena, who lives at Whitwell-On-The-Hill, just outside York.

Even when she’s not jetting around the world, it’s a hectic lifestyle, fitting in her passion for racing with her job in the private client unit at Langleys. She works three days a week, squeezing in gym sessions before walking to the office, and rides out regularly for Mick Easterby at Malton, and Michael Appleby at Rutland. Sundays are her only day of rest and even that’s not guaranteed.

“I’m very lucky to have an employer who is kind enough to allow me the flexibility to work whichever three days I like so that I can fit in the racing,” she says.

She may be approaching the twilight of her riding career but she remains fiercely determined and has become one of the jockeys to follow in amateur races in the north. Despite picking up a shoulder injury last year, she still managed five winners on the turf as well as having a productive season on the all-weather.

“It’s just a question of hoping that trainers keep asking me to ride their horses,” she says. “There’s obviously going to come a point where trainers will want to use younger riders but I hope they see that experience counts for a lot.”

She’s quick to point out that Mick Kinane was 50 when he rode Sea The Stars to victory in The Derby, adding: “As long as you can stay fit and healthy, and carry on performing, trainers will, hopefully, still want to use you. It all comes down to ability.”

Two of her winners came at Redcar last season – Simon Crisford’s Time To Blossom, and Restive for Iain Jardine – and she has particular praise for the friendly seaside track.

“Redcar has always been a staunch supporter of amateur jockeys and it’s always a pleasure to ride there,” she says.

“It’s a lovely track to ride because the ground is so well managed, with a nice covering of grass. We really are grateful for the support they give us.”

So what are Serena’s ambitions for the coming season? “I just want to carry on riding for as long as trainers want me,” she says. “There’s nothing like the buzz of riding a horse that’s in with a chance. I’m not sure what I’ll do when it comes to an end but, for now, I’ll just keep on giving it my best.”

Whether that’s thousands of miles away in Peru, or on the North-East coast at Redcar, Serena Brotherton’s best is often good enough to see her passing the post first.