Julie Krone was 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.
Yesterday (Wednesday 12 September) she partnered 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.
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).
AFTER THE RACE
Mick Kinane, on the nose winner Patriotic, when told that he hadn't quite lost it yet, said: "Not quite, there are little bits of it there, just."
George Duffield, who was second on Elijah Pepper, was fined £300 by the stewards for using his whip above the specified limit. The stewards are reportedly giving the fine to the two charities benefiting from the Leger Legends.
Tony Clark, on third Handheld, said: "I loved it. I thought I was going to win but just got a little tired at the end. Horse and rider!"
Luke Harvey, on fifth Hail Promenader, said: "Absolutely fantastic fun, I really really enjoyed it."
Gay Kelleway, on sixth Hawaana, said: " I am on the committee and we have been planning this for nearly a year and we have got a good lot of jockeys this year. It was a shame about the ground, it was a little bit soft, but we couldn't do anything about that. Everybody enjoyed it and everybody was very clean (with their language) apart from George Duffield. It is good for the sport, we need characters. Most of those jockeys I rode against, I was second to Willie (Ryan in the apprenticeship). I suspect I will be roped into it again because I am about the only female jockey retired. It was wonderful and I really enjoyed it."
Kevin Darley, on seventh Save The Bees, said: "I enjoyed it, we went really quick early on but with my horse I think it was a case of the jockey getting tired before the horse."
Tom O'Ryan, on eighth Muftarres, said: "It was a great thrill. My horse travelled well for a long way and gave me a great ride but just flattened out a bit, he wants really fast ground, but what a wonderful occasion."
John Reid, on ninth Chookie Avon, said: "That was good. My horse gave me a lovely ride – probably a mile is a furlong to far for him. I enjoyed it and he was a nice horse for this sort of thing."
Nick Connorton, on 10th Sir Francis Drake, said: "That was great and it brought back a lot of memories."
Ollie Pears, on 11th The Ducking Stool, said: "My horse wants further – but that was great."
Gary Bardwell, on 12th Pirate Chest, said: "It was really good – shame I blew up before the horse."
Dale Gibson, on 13th Alhaban, said: "I went a good gallop and the old horse just looked after himself. It was great that Mick (Kinane)and George (Duffield) fought out the finish."
Julie Krone, on 14th Sunnyside Tom, said: "I enjoyed it very much. It was really interesting this year because once I was beaten it was a release and I could just relax. I was really left out last year, being from across the pond and not really knowing anyone but this year I felt it was almost like a homecoming and the way the event has grown and the money that is raised is great.
"It just a wonderful event and didn't Mick (Kinane, winner) look great, there are no indignities in his old age.
"When we were at the post and the starter started to call out the names of the jockeys and it literally made my heart pump faster when my name was called out with the others. It was surreal with my name being among those legends. I almost got watery-eyed and thought, seriously this little girl from Michigan ends up at Doncaster with these legends. I think I have been asked to come back to and would love to even though when I started training for this my muscles were hurting and I was stiff and sore and I said I was never going to get back on a horse!"
Allan Mackay, on 15th File And Paint, said: "My horse was a bit keen and I should have dropped him in but there was no pace where I was. I loved taking part."
Jamie Osborne, on 16th Gunner Will, when asked how it had gone, said: "Slowly."