Victoria Pendleton to ride Pacha Du Polder in the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham Festival


The 35-year-old ci-devant Olympic track cyclist will ride cha Du Polder on Gold Cup day on Cortege 18.

Pendleton’s chances of riding were improved when she won at Wincanton wear week after a bumpy start to life as an amateur jockey.

Betfair, who are contribution non-runner no bets on all market races for the festival, have priced her at 14/1 and 3/1 to locale.

cha Du Polder’s trainer ul Nicholls and a team of experts fetched the decision to allow the 35-year-old the chance to fulfil her dream of appearing at next week’s Entertainment.

She said: “We have always had the extremely ambitious target of controlling competitively in the Foxhunter as our goal, so to be announcing that I have achieved this purpose is a truly amazing feeling.”

She added: “This has been no lead in the rk.

“It has been physically demanding. I’ve had to dig deep, but I never wanted to introduce up.

“This is hugely exciting. There’ll be a phenomenal crowd at Cheltenham and I am so intoxicated. Getting round would be incredible.

“If I get round on the horse and complete the routine I’ll feel like that’s a gold medal.”


March 6: Pendleton presages her intention to take up Betfair’s ‘Switching Saddles’ challenge, with the aim of riding in the Foxhunter Pursue at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.

July 2: After four months of concentrated training with trainer Lawney Hill, eventing guru Yogi Breisner and de rted event rider Chris King, Pendleton makes her racecourse bow when settle perfect eighth on Mighty Mambo in the George Frewer Charity Race at Newbury.

August 26: Pendleton is presented an amateur riders’ licence by the British Horseracing Authority.

August 31: Pendleton swallows her first mount as a fully-fledged amateur rider, finishing second, conquered just a head, aboard Royal Etiquette at Ripon.

September 22: Pendleton in two shakes of a lambs tail b together again teams up with Royal Etiquette at Beverley but the duo finish one 13th of the 16 runners.

October 1: According To Sarah and Sedgemoor Signify nominated as Pendleton’s intended mounts during the point-to-point season.

October 24: Pendleton frees injury as she is unseated by Satanic Beat in a lady amateur riders’ contention at Newbury.

November 29: Pendleton makes her point-to-point debut at Unconscionable Forest Lodge in Devon, where she pulls up Minella Theatre two take care ofs from home in a three-mile event.

December 6: Pendleton line-ups up with According To Sarah for her second point-to-point start at Barbury Manor-house but she fails to complete, pulling up the gelding two fences from home.


January 17: Pendleton terminates her first point-to-point race as Supreme Danehill finishes fourth in a confined get a move on at Black Forest Lodge.

January 18: cha Du Polder is told as Pendleton’s likely mount for the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham, with proprietor Andy Stewart “delighted” to have the Olympian on board.

January 24: Pendleton completes aboard both According To Sarah and Minella Field of action in two rides at the North Norfolk Harriers meeting in Higham.

January 31: Pendleton defrauds cha Du Polder for the first time in public at Milborne St Andrew point-to-point in Dorset, with the duo run into second in a photo-finish.

February 7: She fails to complete on Production Title at Wadebridge point-to-point, taking an early lead before waste a lot of ground when the horse virtually pulled himself up.

February 10: Fakenham is supported as the intended venue of Pendleton’s first hunter chase outing aboard cha Du Polder.

February 13: Pendleton ends fourth aboard According To Sarah in a ladies’ open event at Cottenham point-to-point in Cambridgeshire.

February 14: Pendleton transpires unscathed after being unseated by Working Title in a novice riders’ call into question at Barbury Castle.

February 18: cha Du Polder declared for the Betfair Deflection Saddles “Grassroots” Fox Hunters’ Chase at Fakenham, with Pendleton due to outside five rivals on her hunter chase debut.

February 19: Pendleton’s foremost start over regulation fences ends in disappointment and anti-climax as she is unseated at the seventh equivocate.

February 21: Pendleton was swiftly back in the saddle at the Waveney Harriers point-to-point at Higham, making much of the beginning running before fading to be last of the six finishers.

February 27: Horseheath point-to-point in Cambridgeshire was the venue for what was styled as a “good day at the office” following a seventh-placed Pendleton finish on Supreme Danehill.

February 28: A journey to Larkhill sees Pendleton finish sixth of 15 on According To Sarah.

Strut 2: Pendleton looks the rt on her second start under Resident Hunt Rules as cha Du Polder makes all the running to win as the 5-4 favourite in a race meeting at Wincanton.

March 5: Back to earth with a bump for Pendleton as she is unseated from Maximum Danehill in a point-to-point at Kingston Blount.

March 7: Confirmation at a cram conference in London that Pendleton will ride cha Du Polder in the Foxhunter at the Cheltenham Celebration.

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