ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND – Hayley Turner became just the second female jockey to ever win a Royal Ascot event when her mount Thanks Be squirted through an opening in deep stretch and dug down to neck out victory in Thursday’s Sandringham Handicap on Day 4 of the meet.
Dismissed by stateside bettors as she broke at 40/1 odds, Thanks Be settled toward the rear of the tightly-packed 25-horse field and allowed the race to play out in front of her. With 2 furlongs remaining, Turner steered Thanks Be into an opening and the filly responded sharply.
Diving between El Gumryah and California Love, Thanks Be emerged cleanly and began cutting into Magnetic Charm‘s new lead. The two fillies fought noses apart inside the final furlong, but in the shadow of the wire, Thanks Be inched ahead to win the mile-long event by a neck in a final time of 1:39.67.
“She was a little bit keen, but the strong mile suited her,” Turner said. “She settled really well and I was able to tack over from the outside draw and get in amongst them. She just cruised through them. Hopefully, the standard of girls has risen so much that they will just keep coming and coming now. I think it will be more common now, and I think in 10 years, the girls will be having winners more often here; it won’t be something discussed.”
After being sent away as the 7/2 stateside favorite, Hotsy Totsy could only muster a third-place finish, 1 1/4 lengths back of the top pair, with Coral Beach just a head further behind. The rest of the field crossed thusly: Model Guest, California Love, Desirous, Whimbrel, Aim Power, Spanish Aria, No Way Jose, Modern Millie, Maamora, I’m Available, Kimblewick, Ice Gala, Gypsy Spirit, Star Of War, Stay Classy, El Gumryah, Invitational, Lady Madison, Concello, Nonchalance, Flighty Almighty, Layaleena, and Garrel Glen.
Gallic was a non-runner.
Thanks Be’s win was the first of her career and came in her first time with Turner aboard. The 3-year-old daughter of Mukhadram had finished second in both prior 2019 starts and now carries a record of 5-1-2-0.
“Thanks Be is wonderful,” Fellowes said. “I just felt like today would really suit her. I am so happy for the owners and delighted for the yard. They work so hard and without them, I am nothing. To get a winner on the big stage like this means so much.”
Thanks Be returned $40.60 to win and $7 to place, Magnetic Charm brought back $3.60 to place, Hotsy Totsy paid $3.40 to place, and Coral Beach paid $4.40 to place.