ROYAL ASCOT 2020: You wait three decades for a woman winner and then Turner wins two in two years

Yahoo Sport UK
Hayley Turner celebrates on board Onassis after winning the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot, her second career win at the meeting
Hayley Turner celebrates on board Onassis after winning the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot, her second career win at the meeting

There might be no Queen at Royal Ascot this year but there is the queen of the turf, writes Tom Harle.

In 2019, Hayley Turner became the first female jockey to to ride a winner at the famous meeting since Gay Kelleway in 1987.

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And now she's done it again, when beating the boys seems to matter that bit more.

The 37-year-old linked up with the same trainer, Charlie Fellowes, to win the same race, the Sandringham Handicap and make another slice of racing history with Onassis.

Turner said: “We don’t want a woman winning at Royal Ascot to be a special event, we want it to be a common occurrence.

“I’m so proud watching Hollie (Doyle) winning more often than not.

“There’s so many girls in the changing room now compared to what there was so it is inevitable others will win, it is just going to take time.

“I don’t mean to feel like a mentor to the girls, but I’m the oldest and then next it is Josephine (Gordon) who is more than 10 years younger than me so I think I’ll have to accept that I am.

“What is nice is that I’m still able to ride at the top level and show them that I can still ride a bit.”

Turner certainly can ride a bit and amid talk of cancelled leagues and sponsors packing their bags, her Royal Ascot renaissance was a ripple in the long recovery facing women’s sport.

But the glory of it was that it allowed us to forget all that for a few seconds as she held Onassis in the middle of the pack and made her move at the final furlong mark.

It was a race plan executed to a tee and bore all the hallmarks of Turner’s triumph with Thanks Be a year ago that broke a glass ceiling that lingered for a generation.

The odds were even the same, with both horses 33-1 when they left the stalls.

The safest bet might be that Turner's grandmother, cheering from her sofa, had a few quid on.

“Onassis felt really good. She had the perfect profile for the race and Charlie [Fellowes] told me she would win it about three months ago!” she added.

“She took the conditions really well and took her time. She is a very nice filly and did it easily.

“I rode a very similar race to the one I rode on Thanks Be last year, and that was the plan from a similar draw.

“It is a very stiff, testing mile today, so I was able to tuck Onassis in and let her find her feet a bit and get settled in, and she just cruised through them.

“I thought, it is not going to be the same [without crowds], but actually I am buzzing just as much as last time.

“I was just hoping everyone at home was cheering. I could hear my Nanna shouting!"

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