The Final Field has been released for the 2016 My Kitchen Rules Stakes which is to be run at Flemington on Saturday 12th, March 2016 at 12:00PM. View the My Kitchen Rules Stakes Field.
|1||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Jamie Mott||8||60kg|
|2||TRIED AND TIRED||Leon & Troy Corstens||Mark Zahra||5||55.5kg|
|3||TRISTRAM’S SUN (NZ)||Robbie Laing||3||54.5kg|
|4||CORONATION SHALLAN||Brett Scott||Daniel Stackhouse||6||54kg|
|5||JIMANDO||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||4||54kg|
|6||JESSY BELLE||Luke Oliver||Chris Symons||9||54kg|
|7||PETROLOGY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||7||54kg|
|8||YESTERDAY’S SONGS||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||2||54kg|
|9||SWEET AS BRO (NZ)||Leon & Troy Corstens||Stephen Baster||1||54kg|
|10||MASTER ZEPHYR (GB)||Darren Weir||Dwayne Dunn||10||54kg|
British cycling great Victoria Pendleton will race at this month’s Cheltenham Festival less than a year after becoming a jockey in a move that has split opinions in British racing circles.
Pendleton, a dual Olympic champion who shared an arch rivalry with Australian track cycling great Anna Meares, will ride Pacha Du Polder in the Foxhunter Chase for amateur riders at the prestigious four-day National Hunt racing meeting on Friday week.
The naysayers – of which there have been many – have argued she is not ready. That she is too raw, too loose, in the saddle.
Even those closest to her admitted she had made a “novice mistake” in a point-to-point race on Saturday after she lost an iron and was unseated from Supreme Danehill.
Her first start over regulation fences in February was similarly inauspicious when she came off Pacha Du Polder at Fakenham.
John Francome, the retired seven-times champion jumps jockey, has led the case against the defence, claiming Pendleton is “an accident waiting to happen” on a racecourse.
Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott shares those concerns, but is more wary that the Pendleton frenzy – not a term that can possibly be used lightly – will be to the detriment of the highlight Cheltenham Gold Cup race, run just 40 minutes before the Foxhunter.
Regardless, the main issue is surely whether or not she will be up to the task.
Judged by her bold, front-running victory on Pacha Du Polder at Wincanton last week, a triumph which deserves added credence because it was terribly gusty, veteran trainer Paul Nicholls certainly seems to think so.
Pleasingly, she did look pretty astute in the saddle that day, albeit riding a fine-jumping horse who was rated head and shoulders above any of his rivals.
But the Foxhunter, a tub-thumping affair featuring 23 other runners, will be an entirely different proposition.
It is, for instance, exceedingly difficult, not to mention idealistic, to imagine Pendleton being allowed a soft lead at Cheltenham.
And whereas Wincanton felt almost felt like everyone was simply willing her to win, she will have few friends on the racecourse at the Festival.
There is, after all, nothing very amateur about many of the leading jockeys either side of the Irish Sea.
Most of them know every single trick in the book, and many of them will stop at nothing at claiming victory on the grandest stage in jumps racing.
That said – and this is a point that has perhaps been missed by many – there will be jockeys in the field deeply lacking nous and experience, so Pendleton will not be alone in that respect.
Some will suggest otherwise, but her road to Cheltenham that began last March has been fun to follow.
Her progress, according to Nicholls, has been astounding, and that has to be celebrated.
There have been considerable bumps in the road, too, and this is just as important. If she wasn’t before, Pendleton is now sharply aware of just how fiendishly difficult a job it is.
PR and marketing companies across the land are paid fortunes to instil positivity into those who question the relevance of a sport that has always been greeted with a hint of scepticism from outsiders.
Happily, Pendleton, a refreshingly upbeat woman who speaks eloquently and with genuine affection for the game, has provided racing with colour and context during those bleak winter months.
Whatever happens next week, it has already been quite some story.