NEW Goodwood ambassador Hayley Turner believes the track is the most testing one around.
The 30-year-old, the UK’s top female jockey, said the toughness of the track meant a Goodwood win was all that sweeter.
“It is a hard and skilled track to race around - the horses are stretched because of the sharp turns, it is very stop and start,” said Turner, who will be promoting Goodwood and its big events throughout the 2013 flat season.
“Some horses suit Goodwood, like Boom or Bust, who is a frontrunner, so I tend to follow the jockeys that I know ride well around the course.”
Boom Or Bust gave Turner one of her Goodwood highlights to date - they teamed up to win the totesport Mile in front of a 20,000-plus crowd at Glorious in 2011.
Turner, speaking during a flying visit to Goodwood two days ahead of Saturday’s opening fixture, explained how although she did not win on the Downs as often as some riders, when she did it was very satisfying as the course was so testing.
The former William Hill Sportswoman of the Year revealed she was keen to bring her dad to Goodwood.
“My dad comes racing with me at Ascot and Chepstow but I want him to come to Goodwood because he would love it as it is an unusual course.”
Having celebrating her first win at Goodwood in 2008, the same year she became the first female jockey to ride 100 UK flat Winners during a calender year, Turner said she had some great memories of the track.
“I had the winner at Glorious Goodwood and a winner (last year) for Ant and Dec,” she said.
Turner told how when she met the Geordie TV duo, before riding Primaeva to victory at Goodwood’s May Festival, she asked them which football team they supported before realising how obvious the answer was - at the time she was in black and white silks, the same colours as the pair’s beloved Newcastle United.
“Lucky it was before the race so I managed to redeem myself,” said Turner, whose own team - Notts County - play in the same colours and are also known as the Magpies.
Turner will be commenting on fixtures and other events at Goodwood throughout the season as well as helping the female celebrities in their training for this year’s Magnolia Cup race on Ladies’ Day.
“I am looking forward to that - it will be fun. It (riding a racehorse) is easy for me but for them it is massive, they are so brave.”
Asked about her aims for the season, Turner, who had three wins at Goodwood last year, insists there’s nothing you can do as a jockey to make wins happen.
“You have to find the right horse for the track and just keep working hard, there is no real way of controlling it. I have no idea where I am next week, even - it depends if I win,” she said.
by MOLLIE BENNETT
You can read more from Hayley Turner in the Chichester Observer and on this website throughout the season, when we’ll be following every race of the Goodwood season.