Former track cyclist and Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton is continuing her progress in horse racing and is set to take the start like of the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 18.
The retired cyclist’s second career has been aimed at this goal for some time, and her participation in the event – which takes place on Gold Cup day – has now been confirmed.
Pendleton will ride Pacha Du Polder, whose owner Andy Steward has previously stated that he “fully endorse[s] Victoria and what she’s trying to achieve.“
At the time of writing, Odds Checker has Pacha Du Polder at 16-1 for the race. Pendleton switched saddles in partnership with betting company Betfair, with the challenge to ride at Cheltenham after just a year of riding, but her journey towards that goal hasn’t been the smoothest.
She has been unseated from her horse, and some – including former National Hunt Champion jockey John Francome – have questioned whether she should carry on.
This weekend saw the conclusion of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, which weas a mixed bad for Team GB. Away from successes for Laura Trott and the Madison win for Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, the women’s team sprint had a very disappointing event.
Finishing fifth was not enough to gain an Olympic spot, so Pendleton’s successors have not been able to follow in her footsteps.