Tuesday 21 November 2017

Kelly shines again with Newbury glory

Agrapart ridden by Lizzie Kelly leads the field home to win the Betfair Handicap Hurdle on Saturday Photo: PA
Agrapart ridden by Lizzie Kelly leads the field home to win the Betfair Handicap Hurdle on Saturday Photo: PA

Keith Hamer

Nick Williams remains surprised that his stepdaughter Lizzie Kelly is not more widely used by trainers despite her success.

The 5lb claimer's latest triumph came aboard Agrapart in one of the season's most competitive handicaps, Saturday's Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.

Less than two months earlier, the 22-year-old had become the first female rider to win a Grade One in Britain when partnering Tea For Two to victory in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton.

Both horses are trained by Williams and Tea For Two is owned by her mother, Jane, while she is attached to Neil King's stable as conditional jockey.

"She won the fixed brush handicap on Aubusson at Haydock last season, a Grade One on Tea For Two at Kempton and the Lanzarote as well and now the Betfair," said Williams. "That's four quite big races she's won and was only beaten a whisker in a Grade One in Paris.

"She is quite accomplished yet she has not really caught on for a 22-year-old who has those big races in the bag by that age, it's funny she doesn't seem to catch on with the other trainers. I don't understand it.

"It's not really relevant whether you are a man or a woman. It's what the results are. It's strange."

Another high-profile female rider, Victoria Pendleton, was reported to be none the worse after being unseated from Working Title in the novice riders' event at Barbury Castle point-to-point.

The horse got in too close to a fence in the latter stages of the race, unshipping the double Olympic cycling champion.

"She was unseated five from home. She's fine. She got up and walked away. She was checked out by the doctor and is 100pc," said Barry Orr, PR manager for Betfair, who are backing Pendleton's "switching saddles" campaign.

Pendleton's next date will be her first ride under Rules in a hunter chase at Fakenham on Friday, when she teams up with the Paul Nicholls-trained Pacha Du Polder, which she hopes to partner at Cheltenham next month.

Another jockey in the wars, Danny Mullins, is aiming to be back in the saddle in time for Cheltenham after damaging his kneecap in a fall from Dicosimo in the Betfair at Newbury.

Mullins was taken to hospital for a precautionary X-ray, which revealed he had a suspected fractured kneecap.

"He's not as sore today as he was yesterday. They are worried there might be a little fracture on his kneecap so he's going to see a specialist on Monday," his agent Ken Whelan said yesterday.

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