THE Queen of the Racing League is hoping to cap a memorable year in today’s Cesawitch.
Saffie Osborne drives around popular Gibraltar for Willie Mullins – just weeks after her dramatic £25,000 Racing League win.
She ran a stunning 6.539-1 triple to pass Sean Levey in the Jockey Score last night at Newcastle and picked up a mega cash bonus in the process.
Not only that, she had her first ride in royal silk this summer and is about to redeem her claim.
It’s been a hell of a season for Saffie, daughter of trainer and former high-profile jump jockey Jamie.
But Osborne, 20, faced a lot of adversity in the early days of her career, including a couple of horrific injuries.
A crash at Windsor that left her with a broken arm, ribs and a punctured lung was described by Sun Racing’s Matt Chapman as “one of the worst I’ve seen”.
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And a few months later, she revealed she had received death threats from sick bettors on social media, and the matter was reported to the police.
Luckily things have improved since then.
She’s ridden plenty of winners and her relationship with fellow jockey David Egan – who she will compete against today in the £200,000 Cesawitch – is growing stronger.
However, the pair still have some way to go before they challenge Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle in the Power Couple competitions.
She said: “Life is good. It’s going very well and I’ve stayed healthy, touch wood. I got off to a slow start this season but it’s improved.
“I’ve had endorsements from many different trainers and I’m only nine winners away from claiming. I’ve had some great moments this year that I look back on with a lot of pride. Riding for the Queen was a privilege and an incredible experience.
“Father rode a lot for the Queen Mother, so putting on these silks was very special. Annoyingly I finished second so the aim now is to ride a winner for the king.”
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As for her last-moment exploits in the Racing League, Osborne has just come off the pinnacle of that famous three-way race.
She hasn’t decided what she’s going to do with her five-figure bonus yet, but it’s a nice problem.
She added: “I was third last year and to be at the top of the jockey table this year was incredible.
“I had an incredible last night, I wasn’t expecting it at all but I just got going and everything seemed to be going right.
“There are elements of the Racing League that need adjusting, but it is only in its second year.
“As with anything new in this sport, people take the opportunity to criticize it. The team side is a bit fun, but the prize money is great and it’s very competitive.”
This description could also apply to today’s £200,000 Cesawitch.
The historic handicap was dominated by jump coaches, with Mullins saddled with three straight winners between 2018 and 2020.
Hat-trick-seeking Gibraltar is one of three runners for the Irishman. But he’ll likely fetch the lowest price of the lot, especially with Osborne’s £3 claim.
She said: “I’m definitely driving for the right coach in the race!
“Willie has been a family friend for a long time so it’s really cool to drive for him.
“I’ve knocked on the door at big races and was close at Royal Ascot but I’d love to finish at one of those big Saturday races. Gibraltar won easily in its last two starts. Hopefully we should be there.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6391959/jockey-saffie-osborne-death-threats-boyfriend-david-egan/ Death threats and falls to find love and winners – Saffie Osborne takes on a boyfriend jockey with £200,000 at stake