Royal Ascot review: Hayley Turner becomes second female rider to win at Royal Ascot

Turner rode Charlie Fellowes' 33-1 shot Thanks Be home in the Sandringham

Thanks Be and Hayley Turner make Royal Ascot history
Image: Thanks Be and Hayley Turner make Royal Ascot history

Hayley Turner became only the second female jockey - and first since Gay Kelleway 32 years ago - to ride a Royal Ascot winner.

Turner got Charlie Fellowes' 33-1 shot Thanks Be home in front by a neck from the Queen's Magnetic Charm in the Sandringham Stakes.

Reflecting on her success, Turner, who had a brief spell in retirement before returning to the saddle, said: "The girls' changing rooms are full now - and it was only a matter of time.

"Gay Kelleway was obviously the first, and great respect to her. It is certainly overdue and the girls have been doing so well, since I first started riding, to the standard they are now.

"Nicola Currie was close and Hollie Doyle and Josephine Gordon have had good rides here. Everyone is like, 'why are no girls winning', but numbers are rising and it will happen in time.

"It was just a thrill to have a winner for Charlie, who is an up-and-coming trainer to keep in with. It does mean a lot and the whole girl thing, it is just going to get better and better for them.

"Nothing is going to happen overnight, but if you look at this in 10 years' time I bet a lot more girls have done it. It will become a common thing and the media won't care that much, as it will become normal."

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70 not out

Japan and Ryan Moore storm clear at Royal Ascot
Image: Japan and Ryan Moore storm clear at Royal Ascot

Japan did what was expected of him in running out a dominant winner of the King Edward VII Stakes.

Having finished with a flourish to place a close-up third in the Investec Derby at Epsom a little under three weeks ago, Aidan O'Brien's charge was unsurprisingly a warm order as the 6-4 favourite in the hands of Ryan Moore.

Settled towards the rear for much of the mile-and-a-half contest, Japan made his move before the home turn - albeit a little wider than ideal. Japan had far too many guns in the closing stages and was good value for the winning margin of four and a half lengths.

O'Brien, recording his 70th winner at the Royal meeting, said: "We were delighted with that. He had a lovely run in the Dante - he was just ready to go there and came forward for the Derby, where Wayne (Lordan) was delighted with him.

"Everything has been right with him and he's been progressing all the time."

'Allez Les Blues'

Watch Me ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot wins the Coronation Stakes
Image: Watch Me ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot wins the Coronation Stakes

French raider Watch Me was a surprise winner of the Coronation Stakes.

Much of the pre-race focus was on O'Brien's Hermosa, who was the even-money favourite to add to her back-to-back Classic wins in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

The market leader appeared well positioned for much of the one-mile contest - tracking the pacesetting Pretty Pollyanna - but it was clear early in the straight it would not be plain sailing and, in the end, she came up short.

Watch Me ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot wins the Coronation Stakes 1:49
French challenger Watch Me beat favourite Hermosa to win the Coronation Stakes. For complete coverage of Royal Ascot, go to Sky Sports Racing.

Having finished sixth behind the reopposing Castle Lady in the French 1000 Guineas on her latest appearance, Watch Me was a 20-1 chance in the hands of Pierre-Charles Boudot, but rounded the final turn travelling ominously well.

Once given her head, the daughter of Olympic Glory readily picked up the leaders and kicked clear for a one-and-a-half-length success.

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