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Eventer Izzy Taylor will be defending her 2016 Magnolia Cup title at Goodwood on 3 August — on the horse she rode to victory last year.

Last year Izzy triumphed in a close fought race aboard Alketios, who she was riding for the first time.

The horse, now a six-year-old, has been placed in outings over the last year with trainer Chris Gordon.

“He’s a very straightforward ride and our fingers are crossed for another good run,” said the Hampshire-based racehorse trainer.

“The prep work is going well so far,” Izzy told H&H. “It’s been a busy eventing season so far however I’m getting used to galloping a few holes shorter than normal ahead of the big day at Goodwood.”

At Goodwood the pair came home narrowly in front of the Scott Dixon-trained Armelle, ridden by TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding, and the Jim Boyle-trained Continuum ridden by Emily Baxandale.

Both are also in the 12-strong line-up for this year’s race which is raising money for leading children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

The riders will race over five and a half furlongs in front of an expected 25,000 sellout crowd on ladies’ day.

Double Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Sarah Ayton is one of the riders making her debut in the race, which is sponsored by Swarovski for the first time.

The other newcomer is CNN racing broadcaster Aly Vance, who has represented Great Britain in modern penthathlon.

Dido Harding, who is making her sixth appearance, is hoping to better her second-place finishes in 2015 and 2016.

Fellow businesswomen Charlotte Hogg, Shadi Halliwell and British Equestrian Federation chief executive Clare Salmon join her on the start line as they have done in previous years.

The rest of the field includes Alby Bailey, Camilla Swift, Georgie Lane-Godfrey and Victoria Gray who all work on major newspapers and magazines.



Completing the line-up is Emily Baxendale, founder of millinery label Emily London.

Since its inception in 2011, the Magnolia Cup has raised over £1m for a range of causes. The race takes place on the third day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival (1-5 August).

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.