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Hayley makes history in Darley July Cup

9 Jul 2011

Hayley Turner became the first female jockey to ride an outright Group 1 race winner in Britain when partnering Dream Ahead to win this afternoon’s Darley July Cup.

Thumbs up from Hayley Turner as she returns on Dream Ahead after their Darley July Cup victory.  Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Dream Ahead put up a top class performance to land this afternoon’s Darley July Cup, the fourth race in the QIPCO British Champions Series Sprint division, in the hands of Hayley Turner.

It was a first Group 1 success for Turner and a first outright success at the highest level by a female in this country.  Alex Greaves dead-heated in a Group 1 race, the Nunthorpe Stakes, on Ya Malak in 1997.

Dream Ahead travelled well against the stands side rail throughout the six furlong contest, but Turner had trouble finding a clear run just over a furlong from home.

She stayed cool, however, and when she found daylight, her mount quickened impressively to overhaul Bated Breath and win by a comfortable half length.

Hitchens and Libranno were third and fourth, with Frankie Dettori in fifth place on Delegator.

As well as career-defining moment for Hayley Turner, it was also a huge moment for Newmarket trainer, David Simcock, who has had to be very patient with Dream Ahead this year.

Having been joint champion two-year-old last year with Frankel, Dream Ahead had a great deal to live up to, but is a horse that needs some cut in the ground.

Having missed races like the QIPCO 2000 Guineas in the spring because of the fast ground, Simcock did not unleash his stable star until Royal Ascot, where he ran a respectable race behind Frankel in the St James’s Palace Stakes.

There was always a strong chance that Dream Ahead would be a sprinter, however, and with the ground riding good after rain earlier in the week, the Darley July Cup provided the perfect occasion for Dream Ahead to prove that he is every bit as good as he looked last season.

"It’s massive," said a beaming Turner after the race.

"I’m just thrilled. It’s really fantastic.

"I haven’t sat on the horse before so I can’t take much credit. Obviously David has done a fantastic job and thanks to the owners for having me on board.

"Steve (Drowne’s) horse (Bated Breath) started to hang right and caused a bit of interference, but it’s always the case when you’re on a horse that travels so well that he gets you out of trouble.

"I’m just delighted about it."

For the full race result and winning connection quotes, CLICK HERE.