FLASHBACK: When Hayley Turner Made Racing History In The July Cup

Features | 9th July 2021

10 years ago today, top jockey Hayley Turner created history in the Darley July Cup, perhaps the greatest day in her glittering career.

Hayley Turner became the first woman to ride a Group One race as she surged to victory in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on board Dream Ahead for trainer David Simcock.

It was a first Group One success for Hayley and a first outright success at the highest level by a woman in this country. Alex Greaves dead-heated in a Group One race, the Nunthorpe Stakes, on Ya Malak in 1997.

Hayley recalls the landmark moment in British sport, “you step back and think, I’ve made history there”.

Hayley Turner tells the story of the time when she first found out she got the ride on Dream Ahead, “I remember I was in the queue at superdrug when my agent rang me and he was like – I’ve got you the ride on Dream Ahead. And I was like yes!”

“Everyone in the queue was looking at me like (bewildered), and I was like ‘Wow I’ve got a big ride on Saturday’ to these old dears in the queue and they went ‘oh good luck love'”.

Hayley recalls the race and emotions after the historic win, “when I crossed the line it took me a moment to sink in, I was like – I can’t believe that just happened. I was thinking is there going to be a stewards enquiry, was there a false start!? Then Frankie (Dettori) came over and gave me a high five and I was like oh my word I did just win the July Cup!”

Hayley Turner after winning the Darley July Cup with Dream Ahead

Since, Hayley’s trailblazing win 10 years ago, a growing number of women have enjoyed high-level success in Britain from Hollie Doyle’s sensational 2020 on the Flat to Rachael Blackmore historic Grand National win over Jumps to name just a few.

Hayley said, “it’s nice to see the progress female jockeys have made from 10 years ago to how it is now. Not just through their hard work but also I feel the trainers and owners feel more comfortable using a girl than they used to and it’s becoming more common.”

“The coaching, the training, everything has made a massive step forward since I won the July Cup 10 years ago”.

This year’s Darley July Cup gets underway at 4:25pm and will be featured on ITV’s main channel. Coverage of top-class action will start from 1:25pm at Newmarket, Ascot and York racecourses.