Classic mission not impossible but luck has to be in for Hayley

Hayley Turner. Picture: Malcolm Wells (131410-5994)
Hayley Turner. Picture: Malcolm Wells (131410-5994)
Megan Nicholls (left of picture) was the Silk Series trophy winner last year / Picture by Dan

Silk Series is coming to Goodwood racecourse

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Secure champion apprentice title: mission accomplished under the tutelage of Derby-winning trainer Michael Bell in 2005.

Ride 100 winners in a season: mission accomplished in 2008 after scoring high-profile wins on Furnace and The Betchworth Kid.

Celebrate glory in Group 1 contest: mission accomplished on Dream Ahead in July Cup in 2011 – and quickly followed a month later on Margot Did in Nunthorpe Stakes.

Become first UK-based female rider to conquer America: mission accomplished when steering I’m A Dreamer to victory in Beverley D Stakes at Arlington Park last season.

There is no doubt Hayley Turner boasts a stunning racing CV.

The jockey has blazed a trail for women in the sport for more than a decade after arriving on the scene in 2000.

But there remains one thing missing from her long list of achievements in the saddle.

British Classic crown: success pending.

Not that Turner is hung up on sealing victory in one of the five most prestigious Flat races in the land.

Make no mistake, the 30-year-old would dearly love to add the 1,000 Guineas, 2,000 Guineas, Oaks, Derby or St Leger to her long list of career triumphs.

But Goodwood’s racing ambassador is philosophical about her chances and insists it will not define her career.

Her only taste of Classic action to date was on board the unfancied Cavaleiro in the 2012 Derby won by Aidan O’Brien’s Camelot.

She finished ninth on Marcus Tregoning’s 25/1 shot that day.

And with four of the five big races already done and dusted this season, Turner understands opportunities are few and far between.

‘I would love to win a Classic,’ she said.

‘But riding a Group 1 and riding a Classic is a totally different story.

‘A Classic is just so hard to do. It is all about finding the right horse, which is almost luck more than anything.

‘There is nothing you can do as a jockey that is going to make it happen.

‘There is no way of controlling it.

‘All you can do is work as hard as you can, go to as many meetings as you can and ride as many horses as you can.

‘You just try to be totally in the zone and after that, what will be, will be.’

While Classic glory may have eluded the Nottingham-born rider so far, Turner has tasted plenty of success at the biggest meetings on the calendar.

She is looking forward to her duties as racing ambassador at the five-day Glorious Goodwood festival at the end of July.

But before then, the jockey is relishing the prospect of Royal Ascot, which begins on Tuesday.

And although jockey bookings have yet to be finalised for the week-long meeting, Turner is hopeful of playing her part.

She is in the frame to partner the James Fanshawe-trained Hallelujah in the Wokingham Stakes.

Turner rode the Avonbridge mare to a career-best triumph at Newbury last time out – a second win in three rides on the five-year-old.

And at an ante-post price of 14/1 for the heritage handicap, she could be in for a memorable trip to Berkshire.

‘I love riding at any of the big meetings, like Glorious Goodwood,’ said Turner.

‘We have been riding on the all-weather all winter.

‘And it’s not that I don’t want to go. I enjoy my job and I like going.

‘But you do those meetings to build up to the big days like these.’