Victoria Pendleton speaks out ahead of Cheltenham debut on board Pacha Du Polder


The two-time Olympic round gold medallist will ride in the ‘amateurs’ gold cup’, the Foxhunters’ Track, over three and a quarter miles of the fearsome Prestbury rk le next Friday.

She will do so in front of a near-70,000 sellout Gold Cup faction on 16-1 chance cha Du Polder, just just over a year after have seat on a horse for the first time.

“It has been by no means an easy decision to reckon and I have spent a lot of time thinking how I would handle this wonderful break,” she said yesterday.

“There are a lot of risks but I feel I am ca ble of being be involved in of the race.

“This whole journey has been a remarkable experience and I give birth to a lot of lasting memories from the last 12 months – it has been physically persistent, I’ve had to dig deep but I never wanted to give up.”

Pendleton, who won gold medals in the velodrome at both the Beijing and London Olympics in 2008 and 2012, remonstrated just getting round would be the equivalent of a third.

“This is hugely energizing. There will be a phenomenal crowd at Cheltenham and I am so excited. If I just get a close on the horse and complete the course, I’ll feel like that’s a gold medal,” declared Pendleton.

The former cyclist has been sponsored throughout by bookmaker Betfair and has had the efficient assistance and guidance from leading figures in the sport including the horse’s trainer ul Nicholls.

Pendleton, 35, and cha Du Polder on their first win together as recently as last Wednesday in a hunter hunting at Wincanton.

Nicholls said: “Wincanton was a big day and it went well. Victoria’s enhancement month-to-month has been fantastic and she’s well ready for challenge.”

Bookmakers Coral provide 16-1 she adds the Foxhunters’ trophy to that Wincanton win next Friday, universal 8-1 she finishes in the first three and 6-4 that the ir complete the course.

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