Royal Ascot 2019: Hayley Turner becomes first female winner since 1987

Hayley Turner
Hayley Turner is the first female winner at Royal Ascot since 1987

Hayley Turner became only the second female jockey to win at Royal Ascot - and the first in 32 years - as she took the Sandringham Stakes on Thanks Be.

But the stewards then gave her a nine-day ban for using her whip too much as she become the first female winner since Gay Kelleway in 1987.

Watch Me won the Coronation Stakes and Frankie Dettori took his seventh win of the week in the Commonwealth Cup.

"The girls' changing rooms are full now," said Turner.

"It was only a matter of time. It is certainly overdue and the girls have been doing so well since I first started riding to the standard they are now.

"Everyone is like, 'why are no girls winning', but numbers are rising and it will happen in time. It does mean a lot and the whole girl thing, it is just going to get better and better for them.

"Nothing is going to happen overnight, but if you look at this in 10 years' time I bet a lot more girls have done it. It will become a common thing and the media won't care that much, as it will become normal."

The Charlie Fellowes-trained Thanks Be, a 33-1 shot, won by a neck from the Queen's horse Magnetic Charm, with Hotsy Totsy in third.

In addition to her nine-day suspension, Turner was also fined £1,600.

In the Coronation Stakes, Pierre-Charles Boudot led 20-1 shot Watch Me home ahead of evens favourite Hermosa, who had been widely expected to complete a hat-trick of Group One successes having already won the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas this year.

Aidan O'Brien's Hermosa, ridden by Ryan Moore, appeared well positioned for much of the one-mile contest as she tracked Pretty Pollyanna.

But she eventually came up short as French challenger Watch Me, who is trained by Francis-Henri Graffard and was only sixth in the French 1,000 Guineas last month, pulled clear to win by a length and a half.

"I'm a lucky boy," said jockey Boudot.

Watch Me
Watch Me was trainer Francis-Henri Graffard's second Group One victory in a week, after winning the Prix de Diane with Channel

In-form jockey Dettori, who won four races on Thursday, made it seven for the meeting so far with 8-1-priced Advertise in the Commonwealth Cup.

It was another disappointment for O'Brien and Moore as even-money favourite Ten Sovereigns finished fourth.

Advertise prevailed by a length and a half in the colours of Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited, with nearest challenger Forever In Dreams representing a new venture for the same ownership, Phoenix Ladies Syndicate, who only bought the filly this week.

"It was just lucky that Frankie was able to ride him as that made a huge difference," said trainer Martyn Meade.

O'Brien did enjoy success in the King Edward VII Stakes, however, as Japan ran out a dominant winner to give the trainer his 70th win at the Royal meeting.

Jockey Moore guided the 6-4 favourite past the post four and a half lengths ahead of second-placed Bangkok, as Eagles By Day came in third.

Favourite Daahyeh gave David Egan a first Royal Ascot winner with victory in the Albany Stakes, finishing a length and a half to the good from runner-up Celtic Beauty, with Aroha in third.

Moore then won the final race of the day, the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, on Baghdad, with Dettori denied his eighth winner as he came in second on Ben Vrackie.


Cornelius Lysaght, BBC horse racing correspondent

Of course this result is significant, coming as it does after a long break at one of the best-known events in a sport that didn't permit female trainers until the late 1960s - and women weren't allowed to race-ride on professional courses until the seventies.

Gay Kellaway's success in 1987 was a Royal Ascot breakthrough, and some near-misses have followed. However, if one's brutally honest, there isn't much evidence to think that Turner's hope that this type of result will soon become the norm is realistic.

Contrary to big jumping festivals like Cheltenham, women don't ride many fancied runners - look at the odds of Thanks Be: 33-1.

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