Rosie Margarson paid tribute to the Injured Jockeys Fund as she reflected on her victory aboard Spirited Guest in the Longines Handicap at Ascot on Saturday.
It was Margarson’s first ride in public since she broke her ankle in May and she had only been riding out again for just over a week. She also had to pass the doctor before being allowed to compete in the race confined to female amateur jockeys.
The 26-year-old grabbed the opportunity with both hands by making virtually all the running on the five-year-old, trained by her father George, to land the prize.
“I still can’t believe it. I’m 10 weeks on from the ankle break and I only started back riding out last Friday week,” she said.
“I thoroughly enjoyed myself and went for it when I realised I’d won. I thought I may never get this opportunity again. It’s the biggest race of the amateur calendar. I just went hell for leather and I cheered with the crowd.
“It was mayhem and so nice to see people really engaging. It was one of those moments I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”
Margarson explained the work at Peter O’Sullevan House in Newmarket that went into her being in a position to get back in the saddle.
She said: “I’ve had tons of physio. Without the Injured Jockeys Fund I would not have ridden yesterday, no way. They have pieced me back together. I’ve had lots of physio sessions and I’ve been in the hydrotherapy pool and in the gym.
“They have been incredible. They never stopped working on me. Even on days when I couldn’t be bothered and I just wanted to stay in bed and mope about, that wasn’t acceptable. They would get me up and going.
“That is the reason I have been able to bounce back so quickly. It’s thanks to them.”
The winning trainer was a proud father as well, saying: “It was a great day. She’s only been riding back out for 10 days. She’d been keeping fit on the Equicizer but she only got the clearance to ride out 10 days ago and she had to pass the doctor yesterday morning as well.
“It was great for her. She’s over the moon, as are the rest of us. It’s like having a big win.”
The trainer also pointed out a link between his last winner on King George day and the big race itself.
“The last time we had a winner on King George day at Ascot was when Atavus won the International Handicap in 2001 and Galileo won the big one. He was the last Derby winner to win the King George until Adayar did it yesterday,” he added.