Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Racing

Hayley Turner set to exit with a high five at Doncaster

By Frank Brownlow

Hayley Turner will ride off into the sunset after five quality mounts at Doncaster tomorrow - with protege Sammy Jo Bell in action on the same card.

Ulster rider Sammy Jo has hailed the 32-year-old - widely regarded as Britain's finest ever female jockey - as an inspiration in her battle to carve out a career on the flat.

"Hayley is someone I have always looked up to. She has had a fabulous career," said Sammy Jo who, at 24, is a rising star of the sport.

Hayley announced her decision in September and says she is having no second thoughts.

She will retire on what is the last day of turf flat racing this year and her exit follows swiftly on from the high-profile retirements of Ulster great AP McCoy and Richard Hughes.

"I've made this decision myself and it just feels like the right time," she said.

"I get plenty of rides, I'm paying my mortgage. But being a jockey isn't just a job, it's your lifestyle and it's difficult to have a work/life balance.

"I just feel that I've done so much, what a way to finish it and then let's go and take on something else."

The 32-year-old's last mount will be Buonarroti in the £65,000 Betfred November Handicap.

Declan Carroll, trainer of Buonarroti, gave Hayley her first ride and is hoping the pair can produce a fairytale result.

"I think her first half a dozen rides or so were for me," Carroll said.

"Unfortunately I haven't given her a winner yet but I'm hopeful that could change. What a fairytale that would be."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph