Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 23 July 2017

Cycling superstar Victoria Pendleton claims her first victory as a jockey at Wincanton

Victoria Pendleton kisses Pacha Du Polder after winning the Betfair Switching Saddles Hunter Chase at Wincanton
Victoria Pendleton kisses Pacha Du Polder after winning the Betfair Switching Saddles Hunter Chase at Wincanton

Graham Clark

Victoria Pendleton made every yard of the running to notch her first win as a jockey aboard Pacha Du Polder in the Betfair Switching Saddles Hunters' Chase at Wincanton.

The dual Olympic cycling champion was unshipped from Paul Nicholls' charge on her first start under National Hunt Rules at Fakenham just under two weeks ago, but the duo made no mistake this time.

Sharply away, Pendleton survived a couple of sticky leaps to triumph aboard the 5-4 favourite, running out a 29-length victor.

Pendleton was positive from off, having tried to come from behind at Fakenham, and got her mount to the front from the beginning.

Her task was somewhat eased when Gauvain, who looked a likely rival, crashed out at the sixth, but Pendleton herself had to survive a slightly shaky jump at the eighth as well as a slow leap at the 10th.

However, she managed to get Pacha Du Polder back on an even keel before kicking for home with two to jump.

She negotiated both of those obstacles with the minimum of fuss, cruising home from Big Fella Thanks to a warm reception from the Wincanton crowd.

Pendleton said: "It was fantastic. I really just wanted a good round.

"I wanted to get round on the horse and give him a ride he deserved because he's Pacha Du Polder and he is a lovely horse.

"I feel very honoured and lucky to be allowed to ride such a wonderful animal.

"I was very frustrated (after Fakenham) but also I know that this sport is full of thrills and spills - that can happen, it's racing.

"When I started this challenge, people said, 'You know you're going to fall off, don't you?' and I said, 'Yes, I know', but it's a very small price to pay for the joy you get in riding a thoroughbred racehorse."

Press Association

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport