It’s not often the 3.20 at Wincanton on a wet Wednesday afternoon can steal the limelight from the rest of the sporting world, but that’s exactly what happened today when Victoria Pendleton rode Pacha Du Polder to a 29 length victory, securing his first win as a jockey in the process.
All this has increased the likelihood that the former Olympic cyclist multiple gold medal winner will ride at the Cheltenham Festival in the Foxhunters Chase on the Friday (4.10pm), in the race immediately after the Gold Cup.
The final decision on whether Pendleton rides Pacha Du Polder at the Festival won’t be taken until next week, but it’s hard to see Paul Nicholls and co not letting her take the ride after today’s stunning victory.
Odds on the Nicholls trained Gelding were slashed from 33/1, to around the 14/1 to 16/1 mark in the wake of today’s victory. Coral (£20.00 in free bets here) are currently the stand out best price, offering 20/1.
Live Odds On The Foxhunters Chase Here…..
The idea of Pendleton riding at Cheltenham has been labelled as ‘Switching Saddles’ and is backed to (apparently) the tune of £200K by Betfair (£30.00 in free bets here). There has been scepticism in some quarters about it, but for anyone to get off a bike and train as a jump jockey and possibly be riding at the Cheltenham Festival within 12 months, they – in my view – deserve some respect for even attempting it, despite any financial incentives.
Don’t forget that Paddy Power are giving money back on any 2nd place finishes at the Cheltenham Festival, so you could back Pendleton with them, safe in the knowledge that you would at least get your money back (as a free bet) should she finish runner up.