Antwerp in Belgium is renowned as Europe’s diamond centre but Irish lady jockeys can be forgiven for mistaking Cartmel as the best place to search for diamonds with their professional jockey Rachael Blackmore victorious today in the Banks Lyon Ladies Hurdle following amateur jockey Lisa O’Neill‘s victory last year! Catherine Walton jumped off handy and made all, leading the field of 11 on recent Cartmel winner WISTY trained locally by Martin Todhunter.
Ireland’s only representative, BABY JAKE trained by Shark Hanlon and ridden by Rachael Blackmore, was held up but always had the leader in her sights. The partnership made steady headway from 3 out to lead after the last and score by 1 1/2 lengths, denying Catherine the diamonds. She had to settle for a gallant 2nd, with newly licensed conditional Charlotte Jones from nearby Barrow 11 lengths back in 3rd with her first ever ride on SMART RULER.
Winning rider Rachael turned conditional last March and having ridden out her 7 lb claim last month she was delighted with her diamond pendant. “It’s amazing, I can’t believe it’s mine!” she said. “It’s unbelievably generous of the sponsors Banks Lyon to put up such a prize. Things have been going well and this is a big bonus.” Rachael has been based with County Carlow trainer Shark Hanlon since she started her career in racing and he said “I’m delighted for her, there’s no better worker in any yard. For commitment she’s unreal and I’d give her 100 out of 100.”
Anthea Morshead, Cartmel’s Clerk of the Course, said “We have had a brilliant day’s racing. Great racing, great crowd, wonderful family atmosphere. The race which created the most excitement and most chat in the run up to this meeting was the Banks Lyons ladies race with a £5,000 diamond necklace. It’s the richest lady riders hurdle race in the country and we had jockeys from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. It was very, very competitive. There was a £10,000 winning prize anyway, plus the £5,000 diamond necklace. All the girls have been desperately looking for rides to run in this race and it’s great that it has been so well supported.”
Huge thanks to Cartmel Racecourse and to Banks Lyon Jewellers Ltd for their tremendous generosity in sponsoring this unique race. Many congratulations to winning connections!
The Racing Post gave us all a good introduction to the Dorothy Laird pro/am ladies race held at Beverley on Tuesday with a fascinating piece on its history written by David Ashforth: A REMARKABLE RACE FOR A REMARKABLE WOMAN (see attachment below).
14 ladies went to post (evenly split between 7 professionals and 7 amateurs) in this 10 furlong handicap. Always handy, Ruth Carr’s SAN CASSIANO in the hands of Serena Brotherton took up the lead from halfway and, hard ridden from a furlong out, managed to hold on by a head from ex-amateur Shelley Birkett and ATTAIN in a thrilling finish. Another ex-amateur Gemma Tutty was 2 lengths back in 3rd, a head in front of Charlotte Greenway 4th.
Many congratulations to Serena on her 3rd winner of the season (her 149th career winner) and huge thanks to Beverley Racecourse for their continued support with this historic ladies race.
Photo credit 1 & 3: Mrs D Brotherton
A day keenly anticipated was enjoyed at Catterick Bridge yesterday with the opening race of the BETFAIR NOVICE AMATEUR JOCKEYS SERIES 2016. This series is for amateur jockeys who have ridden no more than 3 winners under Rules by the start of the current Flat season and excludes wins enjoyed either point-to-pointing or Arabian racing.
As with all races in this series, jockeys met Jockey Coach Tim Reed 90 minutes before the race to enjoy a course walk and discuss tactics and the peculiarities of the course. 13 runners went to post and it was good to see that in spite of the lack of experience of some jockeys, all delivered polished performances – a testimony not only to the hard work put in by the jockeys themselves but also thanks to the guidance from their trainers and racing school coaches.
Fresh from her high profile first career win at York in the Queen Mother’s Cup, Emily Easterby, riding her father’s DUKE OF YORKSHIRE, showed an excellent judge of pace and made all, pushing her mount out from 2 furlongs and staying on well to win by a length from Tom Greenwood on CHAUVELIN with Katy Lyons a neck back in 3rd.
Many congratulations to Emily who is enjoying such a great season! The series moves on to Leicester next Wednesday 20th July for the 2nd of 8 races in this series. Many thanks to Catterick Bridge for their support in hosting the race and also to our sponsors Betfair.
Chester Racecourse hosted the valuable 7 1/2 furlong Eurogold Group Handicap for lady riders on Friday night and it was easy to see why Laura Wilson calls Chester her favourite racecourse, winning here for her second time having been victorious in 2014.
Well drawn in stall 2 riding Brian Ellison’s ECHO OF LIGHTNING, Laura was soon well positioned on the rail and happy to track the leading pair of Catherine Walton on BALTIC PRINCE and Serena Brotherton on CALL OUT LOUD. Laura urged her horse on in the straight and he responded well to stay on strongly in the closing stages and score by 1 1/4 lengths, with BALTRIC PRINCE just holding on to 2nd by a head from CALL OUT LOUD.
Many congratulations to Laura on her 1st winner of this season and 6th career winner so far!
Thursday evening saw Epsom Racecourse host the 8th running of the Towergate Insuring The Win Ladies’ Derby and 8 runners went to post which included the 2013 winning combination of Joanna Lucy Mason aboard her mother Susan’s TAPIS LIBRE.
Jumping off handy, they managed to make all with a stead pace being set and were unchallenged right to the line.
Many congratulations not only to Joanna who now leads the ladies Flat table with 4 wins so far this season but also many congratulations to our very own recently retired top lady amateur jockey Jacqueline Coward on enjoying a dream start to her training career by winning with her very first runner, and that being a Derby winner too!
Well done all!
How exciting Ladies! Haydock’s North West sister course, Carlisle Racecourse, is hosting an #AmazingMonday Ladies Night on August 1 for one of Carlisle’s most glamourous nights out. It’s a unique raceday and the only fixture in the world where all the races are ridden by female jockeys.
In support of the female element to the racing, Jockey Club Racecourses – North West is offering any female jockey who rides a winner at Carlisle #AmazingMonday on August 1 and then goes on to ride the winner of the Betfred Haydock Park Ladies Derby a Jockey Club ‘partnership’ to the value of £20,000 – this in addition to the prize money on offer! 🏇💨💃
Huge congratulations from us all here in the UK to our top ex-amateur jockey Rachel King who had an unforgettable weekend in what is now her own Australia with 2 winners at Muswellbrook on Friday and her 1st career treble at Mudgee on Sunday! What an achievement! Go Rachel!🌟
Very many congratulations to our multiple lady Flat Champion Serena Brotherton on reaching a career milestone when riding her 100th Flat winner at Nottingham today! This might sound like a repeat of an earlier post as in fact Serena’s century was reached at Lingfield last month when she won with her own CITY GROUND, but that winning total included one Hunterchase and she had to wait a little longer before reaching her own personal goal of 100 Flat winners.
The full Flat century came excruciatingly close only yesterday at The Champion Hurdle Meeting in Jersey when Serena made what has become an annual pilgrimage to the Channel Isles with City Ground. Sadly the rain softened ground denied them success but today’s Nottingham victory was easily achieved with Rebecca Bastiman’s INDIAN CHIEF who followed up his win at Chepstow on Tuesday and, never in any danger, won very comfortably by 7 lengths.
Many congratulations again to Serena on this unique record and here’s to many more winners!