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Gordon Rocks to Thunderbolt landmark

30/11/2017
12

CHAMPION APPRENTCE last year, the continually blossoming career of Josephine Gordon reached another milestone on Saturday when she joined Hayley Turner as only the second woman to ride 100 winners in a calendar year on the Flat in Britain when Thunderbolt Rocks struck at Wolverhampton. Gordon, who at the start of the year relocated from Lambourn to join Hugo Palmer’s powerful operation in Newmarket, has made a seamless transition to the senior ranks. She had moved on to 99 winners at Chelmsford eight days earlier but was frustratingly still on the verge of her landmark after 19 subsequent rides.

After achieving the feat, appropriately on the Palmertrained Thunderbolt Rocks she said: “It’s a relief to get it done and I was beginning to wonder if I would do it. I’ve ridden several who had good chances recently without success. “It was nice to do it on one of the boss’s as he was the one to give me my first job after finishing my claim.” The 24yo rode 87 winners last year but has improved on that out of her claim in 2017 with highlights having included Group Three victories on Koropick and Apphia. Thunderbolt Rocks was a notable winner for Palmer too. He explained: “Thunderbolt Rocks becomes a landmark horse both for trainer and jockey; for us it is 75 winners for 2017, our best yet, and more importantly 100 for Josephine Gordon.

It has been a huge effort all round. “It’s an incredible achievement by Josie to get to 100 winners and it has come about by a huge amount of talent and hard work. “The amazing thing about Josie is that she has only ridden 204 winners in her entire life. If she stays brave, fit and healthy she could have a remarkable career ahead of her. Turner rode exactly 100 winners in 2008, bringing up her century at Wolverhampton on 30 December that year, while Silvestre de Sousa, Luke Morris, Jim Crowley, Ryan Moore, Joe Fanning, Adam Kirby, Danny Tudhope, Oisin Murphy, PJ McDonald and James Doyle are the other jockeys to have hit and surpassed 100 winners this year.

Gordon, who rode only her second winner as recently as 2015 and has now equalled greats such as Ryan Moore (2004) and Frankie Dettori (1990) in riding 100 winners in their first season out of apprenticeship. On what proved a fine day for female riders, apprentice Hollie Doyle rode out her claim at Lingfield. Gordon said: “I think there are more girls coming through at the moment and hopefully my milestone will help. “Hollie Doyle rode out her claim at the weekend and Nicola Currie is another promising jockey who is doing as I did and getting experience with the smaller trainers first.”

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