Riding Unforgetable Filly (GB) in Saturday's Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane's End (G1) will mark the U.S. debut for jockey Josephine Gordon. The 23-year-old, who earned the title of 2016 champion apprentice jockey in Britain, is based in Newmarket, where she works for Unforgetable Filly's trainer, Hugo Palmer.
“I'm really excited and I think it's a brilliant opportunity (for me) for the owners (Rabbah Bloodstock, lessee) and Hugo to put me on her,” Gordon said by telephone on Thursday. “It's a great chance and it will be a really good experience.”
The race presents a new opportunity for the well-traveled jockey.
“Obviously I've watched racing there, but from what I can tell it's a lot different here,” she said. “I've been abroad – I've ridden in Switzerland and Dubai – and when you go to different places there are so many things that are a lot more different.”
The QE II will be the second time Gordon will have the mount on Unforgetable Filly. In June, the pair won the Edinburgh Gins Maggie Dickson at Musselburgh in Scotland. The filly since has won the German One Thousand Guineas (G2) at Dusseldorf with jockey James Doyle. In her last start, she was unplaced in the Japan Racing Association Sceptre (G3) at England's Doncaster Sept. 15.
“Ideally she wants a real quick ground; she wants it firm,” Gordon said. “But I think (Lexington weather will be) warm today and warm tomorrow, so hopefully (Keeneland's turf course) will dry out a bit. Seven furlongs to a mile suits her ideally, but I think she has a great chance.”
Unforgetable Filly visited the Keeneland starting gate yesterday and galloped once around the all-weather training track this morning. Gordon will arrive in Kentucky late tonight.
“I'm really looking forward to the experience and hoping that she'll run a big race,” she said.
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