Friday 15 December 2017

Pendleton up to speed early in new career on racetrack


Victoria Pendleton is weighed at Newbury Racecourse, Newbury on Thursday (Nick Potts/PA Wire)
Victoria Pendleton is weighed at Newbury Racecourse, Newbury on Thursday (Nick Potts/PA Wire)

Graham Clark

Olympic track cyclist Victoria Pendleton made a polished start to her new career as a jockey in finishing eighth on Mighty Mambo at Newbury.

The dual gold medal-winning 34-year-old announced in March she was training to become a rider, with a long-term aim of competing in the Foxhunter Chase at next year's Cheltenham Festival.

Pendleton has undergone four months of intensive training and made her racecourse bow aboard Lawney Hill's eight-year-old in the George Frewer Charity Race.

Pendleton's mount made pleasing progress down the long straight and was not beaten overly far, with his rider not looking out of place. The one-mile-five-furlong event was won by the Maisie Turner-ridden Oratorio's Joy.

Pendleton said: "I loved every minute of it, but it was over so quickly, I wish I could do it again."

Meanwhile, Donnacha O'Brien is hopeful of a bright future for Sherlock Holmes after a battling victory in the McCabes Mitsubishi Motors Handicap at Bellewstown.


O'Brien made the running on the 8/15 shot in the 1m6f contest but was all out in the closing stages to repel Crystal Earth by half a length.

The Galileo colt was making his handicap debut, having run out an easy winner of a Ballinrobe maiden on his last start.

"He was always just doing enough. He's a big staying horse and stays all day," said the winning rider. "He's a grand big horse and you never know, in a few years he could be an Ascot Gold Cup horse."

At Tipperary, Bubbly Bellini recorded his 16th career success and his fourth of the season as he took the three-runner Follow @TipperaryRaces On Twitter Race.

Sent off the outsider of the trio at 7/2, the Adrian McGuinness-trained eight-year-old was settled in rear by Declan McDonogh but swept through in the final 100 yards to score by a length and a half.

Intensical (5/2) was second under Kevin Manning for Jim Bolger, while the 4/5 favourite Father Frost was last.

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