Hayley Turner - First British Woman To 1000 Winners

Features | 22nd November 2023

The 40-year-old record-breaker Hayley Turner reached the historic landmark when she rode Tradesman to victory at Chelmsford.

Early Days

Hayley Turner was born and brought up in Nottinghamshire. She learned to ride at an early age as her mum Kate was a riding instructor. After graduating from Doncaster-based Northern Racing College, Hayley joined Derby-winning trainer Michael Bell. She had her first ride as an apprentice at Southwell, her local track growing up, in March 2000. Just over two months later she rode her first winner when Generate was successful at Pontefract. Her career was up and running.

Apprentice Title Glory

After spells riding work for American trainer Tom Amoss and for Godolphin in Dubai, Hayley’s skills in the saddle were attracting plenty of attention. Bettering her seasonal totals each year, in 2005 she became the first female champion apprentice when she shared the title with Saleem Golam. They both rode 44 winners. It was Hayley’s last season as an apprentice. Her 95th career winner came in September and it meant she had become only the fourth woman jockey to ride out her apprentice’s weight claim.

Record-Breaking Centurian 

Demand for Hayley’s riding services were increasing and she reached another significant milestone for female jockeys when she became the first woman to ride 100 British winners in a year. The significant landmark came under the lights of Wolverhampton on Mullitovermaurice, trained by James Given, with a day to spare before the end of 2008.

Top-Class Turner

A fall on the Newmarket gallops in 2009 threatened to disrupt her career but she bounced back from adversity in a way that has almost become Hayley’s trademark. The following season she became the first female jockey to ride a winner for the Queen. Another record was broken, almost inevitably, in 2011. When Hayley Turner partnered Dream Ahead, trained by David Simcock, to land the July Cup at Newmarket it was the first time a woman had ridden an outright winner of a Group 1. Less than six weeks later she did it again. This time it was for her old boss Michael Bell when she partnered Margot Did to land the Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

Early Retirement

A string of injuries knocked Hayley’s confidence. At the end of the 2015 Flat season she quit the saddle to take up a broadcasting role with At The Races. She was awarded an OBE for services to horseracing in 2016, the same year she made a one-off comeback for the Shergar Cup. It reignited her race-riding passion and she made her return the following year in France, taking advantage of the 2kg weight allowance for female riders.

Back Home

Hayley Turner returned to race-riding full-time in Britain in 2018 and was soon breaking more barriers. Her victory on Thanks Be in the Sandringham Handicap was the first Royal Ascot success by a female jockey for 32 years. She returned to Flat racing’s most prestigious meeting the following year to win the same race on Onassis. Latin Lover’s Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes succes last year and Docklands’ victory in the Britannia Stakes in June this year made it four Royal Ascot winners for Hayley.

Thousand Winners

Hayley’s latest record-breaking success came when notching up her 1,000th winner. A true pioneer, she continues to inspire female jockeys across Britain and beyond. She has played a huge role in the acceptance of women riders to the point where nobody bats an eyelid when a female rider claims victory in the biggest races.