Champion apprentice Gordon lands first Godolphin ride

Josephine Gordon

Josephine Gordon: racing’s newly crowned champion apprentice

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

 By Jon Lees 11:25AM 16 OCT 2016 

NEWLY crowned champion apprentice Josephine Gordon will have her first ride for Godolphin on Monday – and on the same card one for John Berry, the trainer who suggested Muslims have a bias against female jockeys.

Gordon has been booked to partner the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Timekeeping at Pontefract 48 hours after she collected the Tom O’Ryan trophy for winning the 2016 Stobart-sponsored contest on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot.

Gordon, 23, has to ride ten more winners before she loses her right to claim and, undeterred by the challenge that poses, has set herself the target of riding 100 winners next year. She has ridden 68 to date in 2016.

Berry, in a blog on the issues facing female jockeys in Britain, as he sees them, wrote: “There is only one area in which female jockeys are going to be at a disadvantage … nearly all of the most talented horses in Britain are owned by Muslims.”

Both David Redvers, Qatar Racing manager, and Harry Herbert, racing manager to Al Shaqab, strongly refuted the claim.

Gordon said at Ascot: “I have read it [the blog]. Personally I have not come across any problems, I have ridden for Al Shaqab. I don’t want to comment on it.”

Josephine Gordon

Gordon collecting her trophy at Ascot on British Champions Day

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Gordon, apprentice to Stan Moore, has made remarkable strides in the last 12 months. Until October last year she had only five wins in 2015, but she then rode four in the month to begin a winter surge that she maintained right through the summer to catch last year’s apprentice title winner Tom Marquand and claim the £5,000 first prize.

“I didn’t expect it to go this well – it’s amazing really,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and it has made it more exciting the fact that Tom and I were so close throughout.

“I was probably somewhere like Wolverhampton this day last year, never expecting this at all.”

Gordon will continue riding through the winter on the all-weather. “Everyone says it’s going to get harder as soon as I lose my claim, but I’m going to work harder than ever,” she said.

“I’m going to ride as many winners as I can. In my eyes I feel like I’m riding for the best in Hugo Palmer and Sir Michael Stoute. Is there much better than that?”

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