Hayley Turner is a woman used to breakthroughs and another could be coming her way as she attempts to be the first to ride a winner on Dubai World Cup night aboard Margot Did in the Group 1 US$1 million Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Emirates NBD.
Chantal Sutherland will try and achieve the same when partnering Game On Dude in the feature Group 1 US$10 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline, but Turner gets first bite at the cherry earlier in the evening.
Two British victories at the very top level fell her way last season courtesy of Dream Ahead in the July Cup, while Margot Did followed that up just weeks later in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
“I didn't expect to win two Group 1's at the beginning of last year so it will be a tough year to beat,” said the 29-year-old.
“I used to play down being a girl as I just wanted to fit in as a jockey, but now I have proven myself I can use it to my advantage and I am now a lot better known.
“I am thrilled to be here, as is my sister as she gets to come over with me for a holiday! It is such a good atmosphere and it is great to be a part of it.
“I am used to watching it from home so to be here is really exciting. Chantal is also here so it is a breakthrough for the girls. It is a first and people will make a big deal of it but it won't be such an issue next time round.”
Turner became the first female jockey in the United Kingdom to pilot over 100 winners during the 2008 season and her hard work and dedication paid off again last summer with those two Group 1 successes.
Margot Did, a four-year-old filly trained in Newmarket by Michael Bell, has won five of her 15 career starts and prepped for the Al Quoz Sprint by finishing eighth in a trial at Meydan on Super Saturday (March 10).
Turner said: “Michael Bell's team have done a fantastic job getting her ready for the race and it has all gone smoothly.
“She needed the race last time out and wasn't at peak fitness then but she certainly ran with promise and hopefully she will get a bit closer this time.
“She came on a lot for that run and was only beaten about four lengths on the day by horses who had fitness on their side.
“I know her really well and her owners have been big supporters of mine. She was beaten a few times over a longer trip, I don't think she stayed. Thankfully the owners didn't blame the jockey and left me on board so it was nice to pay them back by winning the Nunthorpe.”
The last three of Margot Did's wins have come with ease in the turf but Turner is not expecting conditions on Dubai World Cup night to pose any problems.
She added: “When she ran here two weeks ago the grass was riding a little quicker than usual, according to the other jockeys. They say it is normally watered better than that and I am sure it will be perfect ground.
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