A dominant victory on Master Milliner at York Racecourse on Friday was Hayley Turner’s 900th win in what has been an incredible career to date.
Hayley is already looking forward to notching her 1,000th win, but for now we will take a moment to celebrate her life in the saddle to this point.
Ever since being crowned joint-champion apprentice 16 years ago, Hayley Turner has been one of Britain’s pre-eminent female riders.
The Nottingham native set the tone for girls in racing when it was a whole lot less commonplace than it is today – and to some extent the 38-year-old can take pride in the careers now being crafted by the likes of Hollie Doyle and Rachael Blackmore on the big stages on the Flat and over jumps.
Turner showed what could be done and others are now following in her footsteps, with a clear pathway for progress. As she reaches a landmark 900-winner total in her stellar career, we salute the jockey who has become one of the weighing room’s most respected riders.
Horses in the Genes
Hayley was likely always destined to spend plenty time around thoroughbreds in her lifetime. Her mother was a riding instructor! After starting an apprenticeship with Michael Bell, she rode her first winner on Generate at Pontefract in early June 2000.
Amongst the early experience she gained were stints in the United States and Dubai, learning the world of racing.
By 2008, she became the first female jockey to ride 100 winners in a single calendar year in Britain. She also secured her first Group race winner on Lady Deauville in the Lando-Trophy in Germany on November 2008.
Dream Ticket at HQ
By the summer of 2011, Turner was ready to raise the bar still further for female jockeys as she helped herself to an unforgettable Group 1 double. The David Simcock-trained Dream Ahead provided the breakthrough moment, winning the July Cup at Newmarket, and just a month later it was double-trouble as she teamed up with old ally Michael Bell to partner Margot Did to glory on the Knavesmire at York and win the Nunthorpe Stakes.
Not satisfied with those successes close to home, in August 2012 Turner won the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park in the United States riding the David Simcock-trained I’m a Dreamer, becoming the first UK woman to ride an international Grade 1 winner.
Pundit Turned Jockey Once More
After deciding in late 2015 to stop race-riding in order to concentrate on her burgeoning career as a television pundit, Hayley excelled in her role giving expert advice and guidance to racing fans, but the lure of the saddle was strong and she re-emerged in 2018 to recommence her riding career.
It wasn’t long before she was making waves again and in June 2019 she partnered Thanks Be in the Sandringham to claim her first Royal Ascot winner – and become only the second female to ride a winner at the famous meeting (at that time). In true Turner fashion, she rode Onassis to win the same race at Royal Ascot in 2020 – both horses remarkably winning at 33/1!
Ascot Successes for Team player
Turner is the leading jockey in the history of the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot having ridden eight winners at the event from 14 appearances. She took home the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle in 2018 and 2019 as leading rider and, this year, Shergar Cup organisers confirmed Turner would be allowed keep the team silverware after she helped her side to another win.
The Ladies Team, previously known as the Girls, was introduced in 2012 to create a four-way competition along with Europe, Rest of the World and Great Britain and Ireland.
Ever the consummate horsewoman, Turner recently won universal praise having prevented a potentially dangerous scenario at Lingfield as she grabbed hold of a fellow rider to remove her from her horse who then crashed through the bottom of the stalls. An heroic effort, but one Turner confirmed as a natural reaction!
Quotes from the Racing World in Praise of Hayley
Leading figures from the horse-racing industry have been lining up to praise Hayley’s fantastic achievement:
Nick Scholfield – “She’s an incredible jockey and has worked very hard to achieve more than any other girl.”
Hollie Doyle – “It’s Incredible what Hayley has achieved and I hope many more can follow in her footsteps”
Charlie Fellowes – “Hayley has led the way for female jockeys over the last decade and reaching 900 career winners is just another remarkable achievement for a fantastic jockey. I wouldn’t bet against her reaching 1000!”
Ed Chamberlin (ITV Racing) – “Hayley is an inspiration and pioneer. All done with a smile but don’t underestimate her will of steel”
Nicola Currie – “What she’s achieved in the saddle is inspirational & her personality is as good as her riding.”
*All odds correct at time of writing.