Victoria Pendleton’s move from Olympic cyclist to jockey has been dealt another blow after she was unseated from her horse at Fakenham. The Olympic gold medal winner was riding Pacha Du Polder in her first mount in a Hunter Chase of her career when she lost her balance. Her race started well and she looked more competitive than she has in previous races before colliding with Baltic Blue over the seventh fence on the course. Pendleton seemed to lose control of Pacha Du Polder, colliding into the back of Baltic Blue and unseating her and fellow jockey Carey Williamson.
The fall will come as a massive blow to Pendleton’s career, as many of the horse racing odds makers believed she had a real chance of winning the race. She was favourite to win the race with many bookmakers like Coral, but instead long outsider Vasco Du Mee shocked many to take the victory. The loss will also affect her chances of achieving her target of getting a ride in the Foxhunters’ Chase at Cheltenham next month. Whilst fellow female jockey Katie Walsh has backed Pendleton saying she has every right to ride in the race, many other people in the sport say it would be too dangerous to compete in the race.
After her recent performances even if she does get to ride Pacha Du Polder in the Foxhunters’ Chase at Cheltenham the horse racing odds are making her look like a real outsider. It’s easy to work it out from the odds on bookmakers that she will probably be in the back of the field. She currently has odds of just 33/1 to win the race and that’s presuming that she will be given the seat on Pacha Du Polder.
At the moment, looking at the horse racing odds it seems that the bookmakers thinks there is one clear winner for the Foxhunter Chase. Bookmaker currently have On The Fringe as their favourite to win the race with odds of just 9/4. The horse took the victory with ease last year and galloped home 17 lengths in front of his next nearest rival. The only thing that could cause the horse problems is that the jockey that rode him last year, Nina Carberry, has been out of action this month with a back injury. It’s believed she will be fit enough to take the seat by the time the Cheltenham Festival starts next month, meaning the bookmakers still see her as the one to beat this year.
Luckily for Pendleton she didn’t have to wait too long to prove her credentials as a jockey as she had another race just two days after her nasty fall. She managed to ride Minella Theatre to the finish line at the point to point meeting at Higham without any incidents. There isn’t much more to celebrate about the performance though as she came dead last out of the six runners.