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David Gray: BabyloniTunesAmazon

Olympic cycling champion heading to Ripon after swapping saddles

Ripon Racecourse

Published at 4:50pm 26th August 2015. (Updated at 1:38pm 27th August 2015)

Britain's most successful female Olympian is preparing for her first competitive race at Ripon, after switching saddles from cycling to horse racing.

Victoria Pendleton was put through her paces in the two-day Category A Amateur jockey assessment at the British Racing School in Newmarket and then granted a licence.

The Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Series race at Ripon on Bank Holiday Monday will give the former track cyclist further riding experience following her debut in a charity race at Newbury last month.

Victoria said: "I'm delighted. Since Betfair first approached me, it's been a hugely challenging, yet unbelievably exciting six months.

"I have been working extremely hard with Lawney and Alan Hill and Yogi Briesner to prepare for this and couldn't thank them enough. The experience has been life-changing; I can't imagine my life without it now.

"There's still a long way to go to achieve the ambitious goal of riding in the Foxhunters Chase at Cheltenham next year, but I'm more than happy with my progress so far."

James Hutchinson, Managing Director and Clerk of the Course at Ripon Racecourse, added: "Victoria is undertaking a very exciting challenge and it is tremendous that we can play a small part in the next step towards her ultimate goal.

"This will be an added bonus for our many racegoers to enjoy at our Bank Holiday family day. We look forward to welcoming her to Ripon and wish her all the best in her race in the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Series."

Victoria Pendleton

Victoria Pendleton in training