Rosie Margarson praises IJF after high-profile Ascot success

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.

Margarson ready to take handicap option with Ropey Guest

George Margarson may test Ropey Guest in handicap company for the first time at Ascot this weekend.

The Newmarket trainer is favouring Saturday’s Challenge Cup for his smart three-year-old, but he has also put him in the John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes at the Berkshire track and the Racing TV EBF Stallions Guisborough Stakes at Redcar.

Margarson is likely to wait until near declaration time on Thursday morning before deciding which race Ropey Guest will tackle.

The Cable Bay colt got off the mark at the 13th attempt when dropped in class for a novice event at Chelmsford last month, following a host of creditable efforts which included being placed in four Group races.

“I’m keen to try him in a handicap – I think he’s well handicapped on what he’s been doing,” said Margarson.

“I was going to wait until next year before he went into those sort of races, but there aren’t a load of options left for him off his mark.

“There’s either that or the mile race at Ascot on Champions’ Day (Balmoral Handicap). That’s the one I was aiming at, so if the ground is on the soft side he might go to Ascot for the handicap.

“I can see Redcar being heavy, looking at the weather forecast.”

Ascot is therefore the likeliest destination as Margarson mulls which race to choose.

He added: “It’s 50-50 – I am keen to try out his handicap mark, but it is tough for three-year-olds taking on those hardened handicappers.

“He’s held his own in some rough races there, though – the Jersey Stakes and the Coventry – and a big field wouldn’t worry him.

“He comes out better in that race than in the others. I’ve been going through all three races.”

Margarson has not totally ruled out the Bengough Stakes, because it is sponsored by Ropey Guest’s owners John Guest Racing.

“I was keen to try to win the boys their money back, so I wouldn’t say no, but I wouldn’t want to take Judicial on,” he said.

“He’s a proper sprinter a 110-rated horse. We’re not well in with him.

“I’ll be waiting until Thursday morning, but favouring the handicap at the moment.”