21 November 2023

Hayley Turner brings up magical 1,000th career winner

21 November 2023

Hayley Turner secured the 1,000th winner of her record-breaking riding career aboard Tradesman at Chelmsford on Tuesday evening.

Turner has been a pioneer for female jockeys since arriving on the scene as an apprentice in 2000, notching a string of landmark firsts.

After reaching the 999-winner mark with Lunar Eclipse at Newmarket earlier this month, Turner was made to wait a little longer for her 1,000th – but appropriately it came in the Dream Ahead colours of owner Khalifa Dasmal for trainer David Simcock.

For it was in 2011 she broke new ground when steering Dream Ahead to victory in the July Cup at Newmarket, becoming the first woman to secure a Group One victory outright.

Dream Ahead’s triumph was quickly followed by another elite-level success on board Margot Did in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York just over a month later.

Beaming as she returned to unsaddle from Tradesman, who was sent off the 9-4 favourite for the two-mile Illuminate Christmas Ball Handicap, Turner told Racing TV: “It’s taken me plenty of time, it’s nice to see that the girls behind me that are up and coming – Hollie (Doyle), Saffie (Osborne), Nicola Currie, Josephine (Gordon), they are all riding so well every day. Although it’s taken me 20 years, it will probably take them half the time, it’s nice to see the progression from when I started to now. It’s great.

“It makes me feel very proud when I think that perhaps I played a part in the successes of their career, a very small part.

“I’ve seen a lot of the girls come and go and they’ve all played a big part in getting female riders to where they are now.

“Unfortunately Khalifa Dasmal’s not here, but I’m sure he’ll be watching at home and I’m hugely grateful to him. I’ve had a lot of fun on his horses over the years.”

Speaking of her best racing memory so far and her biggest supporters, Turner added: “David Simcock, who gave me my first Group One winner and has been a supporter of mine since day one and continues to do so.

“It was particularly nice to have a Group One winner for Michael Bell on Margot Did in the Nunthorpe, he helped get me going as an apprentice and got the ball rolling. That was one of the hardest things to do at that time because we girls weren’t that fashionable.

“He’s really put his neck on the line, as has David, to get me here.”

Turner has smashed through countless barriers over the past two decades, notably sharing the apprentice title with Saleem Golam in 2005 before becoming the first female jockey to ride 100 winners in a calendar year in 2008.

The 40-year-old announced her retirement from riding in the autumn of 2015 and the following year was made an OBE for services to horseracing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The Nottinghamshire-born jockey made a brief return to the saddle in the summer of 2016, initially to take part in the Shergar Cup, and later enjoyed a spell in France before confirming her intention to return to full-time race-riding on home soil in February of 2018.

In 2019, she became only the second female jockey – and first since Gay Kelleway 32 years earlier – to ride a Royal Ascot winner when Thanks Be triumphed in the Sandringham Handicap.

This year, Turner claimed her fourth Royal Ascot victory when partnering Docklands in the Britannia Stakes, yet another major highlight on the road to her latest achievement.

The Professional Jockeys Association paid its tribute, with interim chief executive Dale Gibson saying: “It’s rare for jockeys to ride 1,000 winners, but Hayley Turner OBE has become the first female rider in Britain to do so.

“Her career to date has been full of superlatives; Hayley was the first female jockey to ride 100 winners in a season, she was also champion apprentice jockey as well as winning some of the UK and world’s most prestigious races, including four Royal Ascot winners to date.

“Hayley is one of a growing number of outstanding female jockeys in Britain who compete against men at the highest levels of the sport and across the globe. The Professional Jockeys Association, which champions all jockeys’ interests, believes Hayley’s achievements will encourage many more women to participate in the sport, with the expectation that more than a fifth of all jockeys in the UK will be women by 2030.

“Congratulations Hayley – a truly fantastic achievement.”

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