Victoria Pendleton finishes eighth on horse racing debut

Double Olympic gold medallist "thrilled" with her first race as a jockey after swapping the track for the paddock

Victoria Pendleton has made her competitive horse racing debut after turning out at Newbury on Thursday night (July 2).

Four months after first announcing her intention to switch her bike for a horse, the double Olympic champion rode Mighty Mambo to a creditable eighth place (opens in new tab) out of 11 runners in the George Frewer Charity Race.

But Pendleton, whose aim is to compete in the Foxhunters Chase at the Cheltenham Festival next year, admitted afterwards that she still has a lot to learn.

"Being part of this race gave me a huge thrill," she said on the website of backers Betfair (opens in new tab).

>>>Victoria Pendleton: I’m back on my bike and now I can just enjoy it (opens in new tab)

"That said, I'm actually slightly cross with myself in the way I started the race. Mighty Mambo finished really strongly and had I been closer up sooner, you never know where we might have finished.

"Although I've learnt so much already, today has shown me that there's plenty more hard work ahead."

And the next stage of Pendleton's development promises to be just that - taking a 'Category A Amateur licence' course at the British Racing School.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.