Josephine Gordon wrote her name into the history books at Wolverhampton on Saturday when becoming only the second woman to ride 100 winners on the flat in a calendar year in Britain.
Last season’s Champion Apprentice has made a seamless transition to the professional ranks, and joined Hayley Turner in the elite 100 club after steering 10-1 shot Thunderbolt Rocks home for her boss Hugo Palmer.
The 24-year-old rode out her claim at the same track just over twelve months ago and, coincidentally, Wolverhampton was also the venue for Turner’s pioneering feat back in December 2008.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) November 25, 2017
Gordon’s link up with Palmer has been a key factor in her rapid rise over the past two seasons, providing her with a first Group race success aboard Koropick at Newcastle back in July.
She told Racing Post: “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.”
“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.
“I think there are more girls coming through at the moment and hopefully this milestone will help.”
Gordon relocated from Lambourn at the start of the year to join forces with Palmer, and the Newmarket handler was effusive in his praise for the jockey.
He told Racing Post: “It’s an incredible achievement by Josie to get to 100 winners and it has come about by a huge amount of talent and a huge amount of hard work.
“She must be long odds-on to beat Hayley’s record now and I hope it’s not my last winner of the year so hopefully we can get there together. She’s been a great ambassador for herself, women in general and our yard.
“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.”
A Saturday of real girl power
Just a few hours prior to Gordon’s historic victory, another female jockey registered a landmark success in the shape of Hollie Doyle.
The 21-year-old rode her 95th career winner aboard 11-1 shot Hidden Stash in the penultimate race at Lingfield, ensuring she can no longer claim her 3lb allowance.
So very grateful to all the owners and trainers that have contributed to me losing my claim yesterday! Especially my agent Guy Jewell and boss @rhannonracing for all the support throughout the season! #onwardsandupwards
— Hollie Doyle (@HollieDoyle1) November 26, 2017
Doyle will now bid to emulate Gordon and make a smooth transition to the senior ranks after finishing a more than creditable fourth in the Apprentice Championship this season.