Hayley Turner was delighted to confirm she will be riding Cavaleiro in the 2012 Investec Derby at Epsom Downs.
29 year old Hayley, holds the distinction of being the first female jockey to ride 100 UK flat race winners during a calendar year. Growing up in Nothamptonshire, she was apprenticed to Derby winning trainer Michael Bell and in 2005 she shared the Champion Apprentice title with Saleem Golam with a total of 44 winners.
Popular and well respected amongst other riders, she is known for her down to earth personality, her success is credited with encouraging a whole new generation of female jockeys. Hayley's first ride in public was at Southwell in 2000 and she was aboard her first winner, Generate, later that year at Pontefract. Her career has gone from strength to strength with numerous high profile wins for many trainers and in July 2011 she rode her first Grade 1 winner, Dream Ahead at Newmarket, following it up in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes aboard Margot Did at York a month later.
Hayley Turner has often been portrayed in the media as the ‘pin up girl' of British horseracing, it's easy to see why, young, attractive and very good at her job, however she seems much more comfortable in the saddle than in the media. In 2009 she was badly injured at Newmarket while putting a horse in starting stalls but was back in the saddle quickly, she finished the year with 60 winners despite missing most of the season.
Hayley will be only the second women to ever ride in the Derby, she was quick to thank trainer Mr Tregoning and Cavaleiro's owner Guy Brooks for the booking, it's not every day whether your male or female you get the chance to ride in one of the world's most famous races. She revealed the news of her Derby booking just before riding Primaeval (part owned by TV presenters Ant and Dec) to victory at Goodwood and said she was ‘chuffed to bits'. Primaeval is now one of the leading ante-post contenders for the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot next month. Hayley partnered Cavaleiro to win at Chepstow last season and should have ridden him in the Lingfield Derby Trial in April, however she missed that one and ended up riding at Ascot instead.
The horse has had two wins from six races to date and is 100/1 chance for the Derby, Hayley said of him ” I think he's the sort of horse that will suit the course, he's quite a strong traveller.He's progressing with age and he'll definitely stay.”
Photo Credit | Richard Towell