Carlisle hosts its annual lady riders’ night on Monday
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
By David Ashforth 12:59PM 31 JUL 2016
SANDRA EICHENHOFER was a promising German rider who was in Sao Paulo last October for an international race. She died there, aged 23, after a fall. Today’s all women card at Carlisle opens with an international race in her memory (5.45). It’s worth letting your eye linger.
Like JT McNamara’s recent death, Eichenhofer’s was a reminder of the risks jockeys take and the awful consequences for the unlucky.
We are fortunate to see Bethany Baumgardner riding today because in April she suffered a broken neck, lacerated liver and collapsed lung in a fall in her home State of Maryland, where she has twice almost won the Maryland Hunt Cup. In 2014 Baumgardner was beaten a nose on Imperial Way and last year passed the post first on the same horse but the weight cloth fell off after the 19th fence and she was disqualified. Hopefully Baumgardner will be luckier on Outlaw Torn.
Kate Harrington, over from Ireland, and Joanna Mason are familiar names – Harrington seems certain to be involved in the finish on Gone With The Wind – but four of the other five riders are having their first rides in Britain and it will be Diana Lopez Leret’s first ride here since 2004.
For Manuela Slamanig, from Austria, England is one more country on an impressive list. Now a pupil assistant with Ed Dunlop, Slamanig has ridden in Ireland, France, Morocco, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Mauritius and the USA. She’s probably ridden in other countries, too, but you get the idea.
Some of Slamanig’s rides have been in races for Arabian horses and the same is true for Sara Vermeersch, from Belgium. As well as in Belgium, she has ridden winners in France, Germany and the USA. In March Vermeersch won a leg of the Ladies’ World Championship at Sam Houston racetrack in Texas.
One of her ambitions is to ride at some of the world’s top racecourses, including Ascot and Newmarket. Carlisle’s a start and you can always pretend.
Vermeersch is only 21 but Lilli-Marie Engels, from Germany, is only 16. She rode her first winner when 15 and this year has already ridden five more. It will be interesting to see her ride and if she wins on The Name’s Bond I think she should be presented with a copy of Friedrich Engels The Condition of the Working Class in England (1844). Friedrich might be an ancestor.
Leret, from Spain, rode twice at Newmarket and twice at Newbury between 2000 and 2004. There aren’t many opportunities for amateur riders in Spain so Leret has done a lot of her riding and winning in France.
Gone With The Wind is the most likely winner but the maiden The Name’s Bond ran a bit better on his first run for Richard Fahey and Fahey will hopefully tease more from the reluctant hero.
By then, Victoria Pendleton and Royal Etiquette will have graced Windsor (5.30). Rider and horse did the proverbial “nothing wrong” at Newbury last time (apart from not run fast enough). It would be nice to see them win. I fancy Jersey Jewel.