Monday 15 July 2019

Turner breaks ladies' 32-year duck

Jockey Hayley Turner poses with Thanks Be after winning the Sandringham Stakes during day four of Royal Ascot meeting yesterday. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Jockey Hayley Turner poses with Thanks Be after winning the Sandringham Stakes during day four of Royal Ascot meeting yesterday. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Graham Clark

Hayley Turner became only the second female jockey - and the first since Gay Kelleway 32 years ago - to ride a Royal Ascot winner when Thanks Be triumphed in the Sandringham Handicap.

Turner got Charlie Fellowes' 33/1 shot home in front by a neck from the Queen's Magnetic Charm over the straight mile.

Reflecting on her success, Turner, who had a brief spell as an ITV pundit before returning to the saddle, said: "The girls' changing rooms are full now - and it was only a matter of time. Gay Kelleway was obviously the first, and great respect to her.

"It is certainly overdue and the girls have been doing so well, since I first started riding, to the standard they are now.

"Nicola Currie was close and Hollie Doyle and Josephine Gordon have had good rides here. Everyone is like, 'Why are no girls winning', but numbers are rising and it will happen in time.

"It does mean a lot... the whole girl thing. It is just going to get better and better for them. Nothing is going to happen overnight, but if you look at this in 10 years' time I bet a lot more girls have done it. It will become a common thing and the media won't care that much, as it will become normal."

"What Hayley has done for this sport is phenomenal. She is the best female jockey that has ever ridden," added Fellowes.

The stewards, however, took a dim view of Turner's use of the whip, suspending her for nine days and imposing a fine of £1,600 for using it above the permitted level.

Irish Independent

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