x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

From an early age, Hayley Turner 'has always looked special'

Trainer Michael Bell pays tribute to jockey, who guides Dream Ahead to victory in the Group 1 feature at July Cup in Newmarket on Saturday.

Hayley Turner smiles after her victory.
Hayley Turner smiles after her victory.

NEWMARKET, ENGLAND // Two hours before the July Cup, Hayley Turner was still hanging out her washing. The 28-year-old jockey was keen to wring some moisture out of the intermittent clouds that hung over Newmarket in order to make the going softer for Dream Ahead's bid in the Group 1 feature, which she won on Saturday.

"Just hung out my washing, that usually makes it rain!! Thanks for all ur good luck messages," she tweeted.

The appointment of Turner by the trainer David Simcock did not come as a surprise, but as there were so many race meetings scheduled in Britain on Saturday it is fair to say that she was fast-tracked to the front of the queue.

William Buick, who had ridden Dream Ahead on all his five starts, was busy at York riding Princess Haya's Beachfire in the John Smith's Cup. Jamie Spencer, who has ridden for Simcock before, was engaged in America riding Cape Blanco.

"I spoke to William this morning to find out best how to ride him," Turner said. "Obviously, David has done a fantastic job and thanks to the owners for having me on board. I'm delighted about it."

Turner, who was the first woman to become British champion apprentice, in 2005, has been based with Michael Bell, the Newmarket trainer, for a decade and he underlined what made her such a special rider.

"From a very early age she always looked a special talent," he said. "She's natural and very strong. Hayley has been the pathfinder, she has done it without family connections and has done it well."