Sammy Jo Bell eager for glory
Sammy Jo Bell is excited to be taking part in the inaugural Lady Jockeys' Thoroughbred World Championship on Tuesday.
The competition will take place at Europe's newest racecourse, Bro Park, in Sweden and features nine riders from Asia, Australasia and Europe.
Bell is joined on the trip from Britain by Hayley Turner, who comes out of retirement to take part, as well as Ireland's Ana O'Brien.
French jockey Maryline Eon, Stefanie Hofer of German, Sweden's Fanny Alson and Danish rider Sara Slot are the other European contenders.
The other participants are star apprentice Kei Chiong from Hong Kong and New Zealand's leading female jockey Danielle Johnson, currently second in the New Zealand jockeys' championship.
Bell said: "I'm really looking forward to it. It's something new and it should be good fun.
"I think the way they've done it should mean that everyone has a fair chance and it should be quite tight.
"I'm just delighted to be taking part. It will be the first time I've ridden in Sweden, so it will be a totally new experience."
Bell starred alongside Turner in the Girls Team that won the Shergar Cup at Ascot in 2015 and also claimed the Silver Saddle after winning two of the six races, but on Tuesday the two riders will be in direct competition.
"It's obviously similar to the Shergar Cup in some ways, but it's an individual competition instead of being a team thing, so it will be every woman for themselves," Bell added.
"You don't get many opportunities to be crowned world champion in anything, so we'll give it a go.
"Just to ride a winner would be brilliant."
The Lady Jockeys' Thoroughbred World Championship will be decided on a points basis over five nine-runner races.
Four independent experts have assessed each race and ranked the runners 1-9 before dividing the rides into three groups – Group A (top rated category), Group B (second rated category) and Group C (third rated category).
Each rider will be drawn to ride one horse from Group A and two horses from each of the other two groups over the five races, to ensure they all have equal opportunities for victory.
All five championship races will be broadcast live on Racing UK, with the first race due off at 5.10pm.
"We are delighted to welcome nine of the best female riders from all over the world to compete at Bro Park, and wish them all the best of luck", said director of racing at Svensk Galopp, Dennis Madsen.
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