Victoria Pendleton’s ‘polished’ debut as jockey

Victoria Pendleton makes her way to the parade ring before the Celebration Sweepstake. Picture: Getty
Victoria Pendleton makes her way to the parade ring before the Celebration Sweepstake. Picture: Getty
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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.”