Lizzie Kelly makes history for female jockeys

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  • Lizzie Kelly made history at Kempton Park this afternoon (26 December) by becoming the first female jockey to win a Grade One chase in Britain.

    Lizzie was riding Tea For Two at the London track in the Grade One Kauto Star Novice Chase.

    “It’s awesome,” said Lizzie. “I’m delighted. He showed everyone what he’s worth. Two out I thought we were going well and we then outjumped Southfield Royale. He showed some turn of foot today.

    “I’m really happy with him.”

    The 9-4 shot is trained by her stepfather Nick Williams and owned by her mother Jane.

    The win was a historic one for women, with no female jockey having ridden a Grade One chase winner before today.

    Lizzie’s mother Jane said it was an important day for women in the sport.

    “It,s important to get women in racing and show that girls can do it too,” she said.

    She added that they’d been aiming at Kempton. Lizzie was narrowly denied a Grade One win with Aubusson in France last month when beaten by Thousand Stars.

    Lizzie and Tea For Two beat Southfield Royale, ridden by Noel Fehily by 4 lengths.

    Lizzie, who is 22, also rides for Neil King.

    “This is Lizzie’s day,” added Jane.

    Female jockeys have been in the spotlight recently, with AP McCoy last month suggesting they should receive a weight allowance to encourage trainers and owners to book them. However, Lizzie’s ride here and Nina Carberry’s recent win at Cheltenham have raised awareness of women in the sport, which has traditionally been dominated by men.

    Also last month the profile of women jockeys was further boosted by Michelle Payne’s 100-1 victory in the Melbourne Cup.

    In 2011 Flat jockey Hayley Turner became the first female to win a Group One outright with Dream Ahead. The rider surprised fans this year by retiring.

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