John Jenkins’ Rambo Will caused a stir when picking up a Nottingham class six at odds of 16/1 back in October. Tomorrow, the seven-year-old charge will be looking to grab his eighth win on the flat in joyful circumstances as he has the honour of being his jockey Cathy Gannon’s first ride following a long absence. The Jenkins mount is a three-time polytrack winner whilst having also won twice with Gannon aboard though he is expected to be one of the big outsiders in the 5f flat race at Chelmsford City.
Gannon’s ride in the 16:00 will precede the 33-year-old jockey’s second ride in as many days as she teams up with Eve Johnson Houghton’s three-year-old novice Muscadelle in the 15:50 at Wolverhampton (1m,4f) on Thursday.
Gannon will hope that this new period in her career will be a bright one after a number of injuries have kept her off the track in recent years. The Irish born star was out for around six months when fracturing her femur back in the October of 2012 before having to deal with this shoulder set-back stemming from the September of 2013.
The rider of 300 winners had originally been treated for a frozen shoulder before doctors discovered that the cartilage around the joint had all but worn away. As a result, the two-time Lester Award-winning Irishwoman (Lady Jockey of the Year in both 2010 and 2011) has been sidelined for a total of 16 months. In this time, Britain’s second most successful female flat rider behind Hayley Turner has given birth to a baby boy whilst also riding out for Henry Candy, Mick Channon and Johnson Houghton.
It would be tempting to say that the last flat season had been a poor one for female flat jockeys what with the long-term absence of this one-time Group Three victor and the retirement of Kirsty Milczarek though such an assertion would be wrong. Indeed, it should be remembered that the ladies’ team were only one point from victory in August’s Shergar Cup at Ascot, the event seeing a number of extraordinary rides from captain Emma Jane Wilson’s runners-up.
Whilst Gannon, who was the first Irish born female to compete in that competition, will be aiming to rejoin the ladies’ team again in 2015, she will first have to focus her attention on trying to scoop her first win at Chelmsford City tomorrow. The former premiere female Champion Apprentice of Ireland (2004) found herself unable to secure a triumph under the track’s previous incarnation as Great Leighs.
Neither Gannon’s previous profligacy in Essex nor this being her comeback ride should deter potential punters from backing the Jenkins’ horse. With her armful of winners, Gannon is a safe pair of hands and has nothing but fondness for tomorrow’s four-legged partner.
She told the Oxford Mail, ‘He is a front-running horse over five furlongs and I am hoping for a good run.
‘He is game and consistent and will be a nice ride.’