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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Turner making hay but Royer-Dupre hits out at racing 'lottery'

Group 1-winning jockey praises France Galop for trying female allowance

Hayley Turner has ridden five winners from her last nine rides in France and Britain
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Hayley Turner made it five wins from her last nine rides with a double at Compiegne on Tuesday and is relishing her French forays, having come out of retirement to take advantage of the nation's 2kg weight allowance for women jockeys. 

Those latest strikes followed wins on successive days at Deauville last week, as well as a victory from her solitary ride at Windsor on Monday.

Turner will travel to Angers on Thursday for four rides and, with the aid of agent Herve Naggar, has quickly established herself in the French weighing room.

However, on the same day as Turner's double, Alain de Royer-Dupre criticised the allowance – which France Galop introduced in March to encourage trainers to use female jockeys more frequently – saying the form of races is being "falsified" and the results are "a lottery".

Reflecting on the successes of Palang and Mr Gallivanter on heavy ground at Compiegne, Turner said on Wednesday: "On that ground having a little bit of weight off the horse's back made a big difference because it was really testing.

"I think it’s great what the French authorities are doing to help the girls but maybe claiming 2kg [4.4lb] is quite generous. Yesterday one of the girls had 4kg [8.8lb] off the horse's back and that might not be fair on some of the lads."

Turner has combined riding out with Francis Graffard in the Chantilly satellite of Lamorlaye with race-riding and frequent trips home as part of the ITV Racing team.

Hayley Turner has combined a return to the saddle with her work for ITV Racing

But with ITV's Flat coverage winding down, France will be her main focus over the winter.

Turner said: "The French authorities had the balls to stand up and try an allowance. It's got me out of retirement and doing what I love again."

Among Turner's winners at Deauville last week was Tres Rush, on whom she beat veteran Thierry Thulliez in a race specially framed for jockeys yet to ride 12 winners in the calendar year, a mark she has since passed.

Turner added: "I like what they do with the 12 winners and under races, that's a brilliant idea. I rode the winner for Freddy Head the other day and that never would have been the case otherwise. Even though I can’t ride in those races any more it has hopefully planted a seed [with him].

"I think it would be great to introduce that in Britain because it's not just the girls that struggle."

Alain de Royer-Dupre: "I think it [the allowance] completely falsifies racing"
Royer-Dupre is not a trainer who frequently intervenes in racing politics but he made his feelings clear on the subject of the female allowance.

"I think it completely falsifies racing," he said during an interview on the Equidia racing channel.

"You have only to look at recent results to see that horses ridden by women are winning more often than before. Currently we're running on heavy ground and, as they're lighter thanks to the allowance, logically they have more of an advantage.

"Guys who have been making a normal career up until this point now find themselves penalised. I hope that next year the situation will be rectified because horseracing is becoming a lottery."

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I think it’s great what the French authorities are doing to help the girls but maybe claiming 2kg is quite generous
E.W. Terms
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