OLYMPIC track cyclist Victoria Pendleton is eager for a return to the saddle after making a polished start to her new career as a jockey in finishing eighth on Mighty Mambo at Newbury yesterday.
The dual gold medal-winning 34-year-old announced in March she was training to become a jockey, with a long-term aim of competing in the Foxhunter Chase at next year’s Cheltenham Festival.
Pendleton has undergone four months of intensive training under a team of experts recruited by Betfair and has been riding out five times a week for Oxfordshire-based trainer Lawney Hill.
After the charity race yesterday, won by Oratorio’s Joy, Pendleton said: “I loved every minute of it, but it was over so quickly.
“I wanted to finish as part of the group and not look out of place. I’ve been missing a challenge.
“I wanted something to get out of bed for and something that training fulfilled, and this filled the gap.”