‘Get off the sofa’ says inspirational 72-year-old preparing to ride in her first Flat race

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  • A 72-year-old rider taking on her first Flat race at Goodwood this week said it is a “wonderful opportunity” to show others what is possible.

    Caroline Miller will be one of 12 lining up for the Markel Magnolia Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, on 4 August. The ladies’ charity race is this year in aid of Education Above All.

    “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be an inspiration to anybody out there, there’s no reason you can’t do something extra in your life, get off the sofa and onto a horse and train,” she said.

    “It’s the most exhilarating and rewarding thing you could ever do, especially raising money and meeting a huge selection of new people.”

    All rider in the race have had to pass a fitness assessment that “mirrors” the one required to be a professional jockey.

    “Eight exercises made up of a four-minute plank, leg raises, three-minute ball squats, and a Watt bike challenge, to name a few, make this a true test of physical durability,” a Goodwood spokesman said. “One that Miller passed with flying colours, showcasing her incredible determination.”

    Caroline, who has ridden in point-to-points, and is a racing fan and supporter of rehoming racehorses, said her training and assessment have been a “terrific” experience.

    “I’ve always been very sporty and I’ve always adored animals and the outdoors,” she said.

    “I’ve joined a gym which I’ve never done before. I always used to run, play tennis and do the odd Pilates class but joining a gym has been incredible. It transforms your body, transforms your mind.

    “I’ve always wanted to ride in a Flat race and hopefully win at some point. I am 72 which is an incredible age because you don’t get many jockeys riding at 72! To do this at an advanced age I feel very happy about. I try not to think about the age because it’s only a number and you can’t be thinking negatively, you’ve got to be thinking positively. If I can do this I will be really thrilled.”

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