Hayley Turner Continues to Have Success in Europe Following Comeback from Retirement


British jockey Hayley Turner is one of the most successful female jockeys in the history of the sport but her career in the saddle at the end of the 2015 looked to be over as she retired from riding to concentrate on her media career. Her retirement did not last very long, though, as Turner returned as a jockey last year in France where she has been having lots of success to justify her comeback.

In 2008, Turner became the first female rider to accumulate 100 winners in a calendar year on the flat as a jockey in the UK when Multiovermaurice scored at Wolverhampton on December 30. That milestone arrived just three years after she was the joint-British Flat Racing Champion Apprentice, which she shared with Saleem Golam.


Credit: Aushorse via Twitter

Despite her early success in the saddle, Turner had to wait until 2010 to pick up her first Group One ride when she partnered Barshiba in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Just a year later, she made history in the UK by becoming the first female jockey to win a Group One contest as she prevailed in the 2011 July Cup at Newmarket with Dream Ahead. A second top-level victory arrived a month later in the Nunthorpe Stakes on Margot Did at the Ebor Meeting at York.

The most prestigious flat race each year in the UK is the Derby at Epsom where the leading three-year-olds compete in the Classic. Turner became only the second ever female to ride in the race in 2012 when she was paired with Cavaliero. That year also got better for her as she won the Grade One Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park with I’m A Dreamer.


Credit: NRC Doncaster via Twitter

The 35-year-old has long been a role model to many female jockeys in the UK who will be hoping to follow in her footsteps by featuring in the biggest races in Europe such as the Derby and Grand National where no female has yet to win either of the code’s leading contests. It is surely only a matter of time before a female jockey does win the Grand National though as the number of female participants has increased considerably in recent years. Betting is already available on the 2018 renewal, where there are a host of free bets available on the race as listed and reviewed by Oddschecker ahead of the steeplechase.

Once the flat campaign finished last season in the UK, Turned based herself in France where she has been riding regularly through the winter. Female jockeys in France receive a 2kg (4.4lb) allowance which Turner has been taking advantage of as trainers have been encouraged to use the services of female jockeys.

Turner recorded ten winners in France in 2017 and she will expect to rack up a lot more in 2018. If she continues to raise her profile in her new country, she could be given opportunities in races such as the Prix du Jockey Club and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.