The Wakeful Club announced their Lady of Racing award this week, recognizing the contribution of women in racing. My favourite racing ladies, in no particular order are:
Her comeback from horrendous injuries was amazing and it can be no accident and there can be no suggestion of tokenism when you look at her Group I record aboard Allez Wonder and Yosei. I have a measure of jockeys that says if they are good enough for Bart Cummings they are good enough for me, and Bart has never had a problem putting her on. I love backing horses that have M. Payne in the saddle and I reckon they still come up over the odds because of the ridiculous bias some people have against female jockeys. I believe Michelle Payne along with Lisa Cropp, Claire Lindop and Katelyn Mallyon will be the reason that the insulting Ms title will be removed from form guides in the not too distant future. Seriously, if you know so little about the sport that you have to have your jockey’s sex spelt out, what are you doing wasting your money betting?
I admit I’m biased here because I have a horse with the C & C Alderson team but there’s no doubting the family business is on an upward trajectory with a couple of potential top liners, That’s The One and Sea Galleon starting to show their true ability. The stable also has a handy support cast of city class horses to keep the winners ticking over. I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time with Cindy at the races and jump-outs and found her to be modest and lively company with the sort of hard working, down to earth sensibility that the consistently successful practitioners in this caper display.
I had to cringe when Claire Lindop won the Victoria Derby on Rebel Raider. She had been the premier jockey in South Australia for years and had already ridden in Melbourne Cups, but Bruce McAvaney found it necessary to say something ridiculous after the race like, “Claire Lindop has won the Victoria Derby on Rebel Raider … and she’s a girl …” Then went on to state over and over again that Lindop was in fact female in case anybody was still unaware.
You may be wondering why I haven’t mentioned Gai Waterhouse. She spends enough time promoting herself without any help from the likes of me. I will only say that promotion of Gai Waterhouse is promotion of horse racing which is a good thing in my book and her enthusiasm is somewhat infectious. To hear her tip all three of her runners to win the same race takes the enthusiasm and optimism thing a touch too far. Her record speaks for itself, though so good luck to her.
Do you have a favourite female jockey or trainer or are you in the ‘won’t back a female’ camp?