Julie Krone is delighted to be back at Doncaster Racecourse to ride in the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Stakes for the second year running.
The 49-year-old American legend, the most successful female jockey ever, came out of retirement to take part in 2011 and won decisively on Invincible Hero, the 4/1 favourite trained by Declan Carroll.
Today she partners the Richard Fahey-trained Sunnyside Tom, who has been placed three times so far this season.
Krone said at noon: “It is a very exciting event and the cause is just the most beautiful reason to be here. “I am very happy – I have watched a couple of videos of Sunnyside Tom’s races – his best races – and it looks like if he gets a good break and I can give him confidence maybe he will finish up strong. The course is firm and I think he likes that. He is definitely all right and I heard that Dale (Gibson) tried to get on him!
“It is a mile and 16 horses so it is a little serious. My fitness is OK, not like it was when I was in my twenties but we are here for the cause. If everybody makes it safely around and raises lots of money for our charities, that is the most important thing.
“Since last year I have been riding at home in California. My daughter has a pony and I have a horse so we ride together. Soon after the Del Mar meeting started, every morning I rode racehorses for Eoin Harty and Richard Mandella – I probably got on about 45 horses for them.
“I have been working out, exercising on a simulator and just doing my best to get fit. I am officially retired so I have not taken part in any other race.
“I’ve had saddle sores but they are a lot better than bed sores! There are so many people who do so much work in setting up this race. The Northern Racing College has got me ready this week. We arrived on Sunday and I have been at the Northern Racing College every day on horses and come out of the stalls as well.
“I have another week here in England and we are going to Newmarket next week after seeing Camelot here at Doncaster on Saturday – as a racing person I cannot help myself. My sponsor, the Reuben Foundation, have been very generous which means lots for the chariries.”
The Newmarket trip is likely to involve a visit to see Frankel, the world’s best racehorse.
The Leger Legends race, now in its third year, has raised £240,000 in 2010 and 2011 towards the two charities it supports, the Injured Jockeys Fund’s Jack Berry House in Malton and the Northern Racing College’s new residential and staff training facility.
Today at Doncaster, through the lunch attended by the Princess Royal, an auction which includes Lester Piggott’s saddle for his first winner The Chase that has already fetched a bid of £20,000, the riders’ sponsorship and contributions from bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, William Hill, Corals and Betfred, over £100,000 will again be generated.
Julie Krone has ridden 3,704 winners in the United States plus four in Britain (three at Redcar in 1992 and one at Doncaster last year).