I’ll never forget this day – I want to do it all over again – Mellah, featured by fromthehorsesmouth.tips
By Andrew Atkinson
TEENAGER Khadijah Mellah became the first Muslim jockey to ride in a race in Britain – when Haverland won the Magnolia Cup – at Glorious Goodwood on Thursday.
“I want to keep going as I’ve loved every second – a whirlwind – crazy,” said 18 year old Mellah.
“Even in my wildest dreams I never imagined this could happen, having only sat on a racehorse a couple of months ago,” said Mellah.
“I’m never going to forget this day – I want to do it all over again,” said Mellah, whose journey began at the Ebony Horse Club in Brixton, as reported by fromthehorsesmouth.tips.
Mellah overshadowed former Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Victorian Pendleton, and Vogue Williams, an Irish reality TV star and model, to win.
Mellah’s victory on Haverland, trained by a Charlie Fellowes, follows two months’ training at the British Racing School in Newmarket.
“I’m so glad everyone’s here to support me. Haverland is such an amazing horse,” said Mellah.
Talking through the race, Mellah said: “When we were going round in circles, I was trying to get everyone to start talking – it was deadly silent. “Everyone was on the ball at the start – we set off – and there were three horses in a line in front of me. Like a brick wall.
“The kick-back was flying in my face, and I didn’t know what to do. I thought, ‘I’ll pull out’, and see what happens.”
Haverland quickened towards the leaders – edging in front a few strides from the winning post.
Mellah, set to attend University in September, said: “It was like, ‘Oh my God’ – I can’t believe this is happening.”
On winning, Mellah said: “I just started crying uncontrollably – it’s been amazing – ambitious women CAN make it.
“That’s all I want to represent, be ambitious – and do it.”
Mellah, applying for an Amateur jockeys’ licence, added: “I saw Frankie Dettori before the race- and he gave me a hug.
“It was like, ‘Oh my God’, this is happening! – that really gave me a lift.”