Hayley Turner: Champions Day at Ascot

Hayley previews her race at Ascot on old favourite Onassis this Saturday.

Edinburgh Knight being ridden to victory at Ascot

Tomorrow marks the final official day of the British Flat season. It has clearly been a very unusual year with the national lockdown hitting in March just as we were about to start the season. That meant that when we eventually did come round to racing in June, it was a very mad start to the season with so much high-quality racing and so many fresh horses raring to go. It definitely hasn’t been the same without crowds, but we feel very lucky to have had our sport continue at all and we are very grateful to everyone that has put so much into making it a safe environment for us.

The highlight of the season personally was undoubtedly Onassis’ win in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot. Charlie Fellowes has done amazingly well with the filly – her form was a bit mixed last year but he always knew she was very good, it was just about finding the key to her. Her Listed win last Sunday meant that she has now won three big races at Ascot, Chantilly and Goodwood. She looks set to visit Galileo and she will be a very sought after broodmare. I hope she can add one more landmark victory tomorrow at Ascot…

Saturday at Ascot

1.55 – Onassis

Onassis was very impressive when winning last Sunday at Goodwood. She beat a useful yardstick in With Thanks under a penalty and once again loved the soft underfoot conditions. I thought that might be it with her with retirement beckoning but she came out of the race so well and barely lost any weight that Charlie thought we could roll the dice and head to British Champions Day at Ascot. She’s already won at Ascot at a big price this season and she could easily have a say tomorrow, if things go her way. She is down to 6 furlongs but has loads of speed and will obviously love the ground.

Elsewhere on the card, I’d love to see Hollie Doyle win her first Group 1. She has five good rides on the day and rides Dame Malliot in the Group 1 Champion Fillies and Mares. This week she broke her own record of winners ridden by a female jockey in a calendar year (117) in two less months than she did last year and we missed two and a half months due to covid! She has done so much for female jockeys and she is an absolute credit to herself and those around her. She works so hard and deserves the success she has had. It’s fantastic that she’s now been rewarded with some big rides and I really hope she can win tomorrow.

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