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Published: 16:08 | 2/3/16

Pendleton secures first victory


Victoria Pendleton recorded her first win under rules as she made all the running aboard Pacha Du Polder at Wincanton on Wednesday.

The dual Olympic champion cyclist is hoping to ride in the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase at this month's Cheltenham Festival, but her plans were thrown into doubt when she was unseated by Pacha Du Polder at Fakenham just under two weeks ago.

Despite dividing opinion, Pendleton remains determined to ride at the Cheltenham Festival and produced a front-running display aboard the 5-4 favourite to land the Betfair 'Switching Saddles' Hunter Chase by 29 lengths.

Pacha Du Polder was sent into the lead from the off and, while there were a couple of questionable jumps, she cruised home to claim her first victory under rules.

"The emotions are so different as I've gone from a sport where everything is so calculated to one where you probably have 10 per cent of the variables under control and the rest is down to a six-tonne thoroughbred," she told Radio 5 Live.

"I was just really focussing on my own performance and getting round safe and sound as I was so disappointed after Fakenham. I didn't do the horse or any of my coaches justice.

"Fakenham was just one of those things, but once I'd seen the footage which showed my foot getting kicked out. I just said 'Vic, you're better than that'.

"It's up to the experts to decide if I'm ready and I trust them 100 percent. What will be will be.

"The decision hasn't been made yet, we'll let the dust settle.

"Of course I'd like to go, Cheltenham is an incredible event, I went last year, but there's a lot more riders and that makes it very, very challenging.

"I'll allow the expects to decide. It doesn't mean I won't stop trying, there's always next year."


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