Posts

Gosden-Hood and Crawford all smiles after Magnolia dead heat

Thea Gosden-Hood and Candida Crawford shared the honours as they dead-heated in the Magnolia Cup at Goodwood.

The charity contest, run in support of Smart Works this year, featured 10 female amateur riders – including Gosden-Hood, daughter of trainer John Gosden, Frankie Dettori’s daughter Ella, sports presenter Rachel Stringer and dressage rider Tatiana Mountbatten.

Gosden-Hood endured a testing start on her racecourse debut as her mount, She Got The Jockey – who is better known as the Roger Varian-trained Batraan – unshipped her on the way to the post.

However, the pair were reunited and bowled along in front before Crawford, who is described as a freelance rider, produced her mount Mine Behind – aka Jamie Osborne’s Good Earth – to challenge inside the final furlong.

Crawford reeled in Gosden-Hood, and the pair flashed past the post together, with the judge unable to separate them.

Gosden-Hood said: “Coming from a racing family, I think there’s a misconception that I’ve been riding all my life, but I haven’t sat on a horse for 15 years, let alone a racehorse.

“I was literally starting from scratch. I had to go to a riding school to learn how to trot, so it’s been a long journey.

“I’d really like to thank everyone at Clarehaven (father and brother Thady’s yard in Newmarket) – I was honestly such a nuisance. They’ve taught me absolutely everything, and everyone has just been so kind and so supportive.”

Thea Gosden-Hood with her mother Rachel Hood (
Thea Gosden-Hood with her mother Rachel Hood (John Walton/PA)

Gosden-Hood hailed the result as a “dream”, although she felt her pre-race troubles might have taken their toll.

She said: “I had quite a tricky time on the way down – so to be honest, it all is a bit of a blur.

“I don’t think we could get a better result unless all 10 of us finished in a line – it’s just a dream.

“I’m thrilled with the result but I’m already looking back and thinking ‘I rode so badly!’. I had a tricky time on the way down – and after that, I think the adrenaline just got to me.

“I never checked who was around me or changed my hands, like we practised.”

Candida Crawford (left) and Thea Gosden-Hood celebrate at Goodwood
Candida Crawford (left) and Thea Gosden-Hood celebrate at Goodwood (John Walton/PA)

Crawford paid tribute to both her mount and trainer Osborne, as well as his daughter Saffie – who is cutting a swathe through the apprentice ranks and has partnered the gelding to three wins already this year.

She said: “It all went so fast – it was just amazing.

“I couldn’t have done it without that horse. He knew exactly what he was doing, and I just sat there and piloted.

“I was holding him, and we started quite fast. I knew that Good Earth (Mine Behind) was a good horse, so I pushed him as soon as I could.

“We’d practised a bit at Jamie’s (Osborne), and he was just phenomenal, and Saffie Osborne kindly gave me some advice on how to ride him – so I was very lucky.

“I thought I was going to be sick. He came out in the paddock, and I just thought ‘what am I doing?’, but he behaved all the way down to the start.”

Crawford admitted it had been a “manic” period preparing for the race, but she was thrilled with the outcome.

She added: “To be up close to Thea was amazing – let alone so near to her. It was a dream come true.

“It’s been manic, it’s been busy, but I’ve had an incredible trainer in Jamie Osborne who has let me come and ride out for him.

“It’s been worth everything, and to have such a nice horse that Jamie kindly gave me to ride.”