Sutherland to make landmark for women

Sutherland to make history

Eurosport

The 36-year-old told said: "I do not feel pressure, I feel really honoured and grateful. I think I've made history and I hope I'm one of many to come for the Dubai World Cup next year."

Sutherland, a top performer in the U.S., partners 8-1 third favourite Game On Dude for trainer Bob Baffert, twice a winner of the big race.

She was on board Game On Dude last November when second in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs to Drosselmeyer, ridden by ex-boyfriend Mike Smith.

That form puts the horse in with a clear chance. The outside draw of 14 is less encouraging but Sutherland loves her horse's attitude.

"I have ridden some fast horses, some sprinters that would just blow my mind," she said.

"But he is a horse with a big heart and I have never felt a horse try so hard in my entire life, so to me he's the best horse I've ever ridden in my life for that particular characteristic."

Sutherland is a well-known figure in Canada and her own website describes herself as "jockey, actress and model".

But she recalled the struggle to break into the male dominated sport of horse racing.

"Sometimes it is a little bit of a boys' club," she said.

"All women can kind of probably agree with me, however, sometimes you get an offer because I'm a woman.

"They want a different touch to the horse. Sometimes these opportunities come and by marketing myself I've got more opportunities to get on other horses and other owners want me to ride because of that."

Also joining in the cause on Saturday is British jockey Hayley Turner, a proven big-race performer at home who rides in the major sprint on Saturday ahead of the World Cup.

That will make her the first woman to ride in any race at the World Cup meeting since it started in 1996.

She told reporters: "It's been a big part of my career, making breakthroughs.

"It's nice to do it but it's also nice to know that it's normal now too. People accept me as a jockey now."

Sutherland will be hoping victory on Game On Dude will cheer trainer Baffert after he suffered a heart attack in Dubai earlier in the week.

The irrepressible 59-year-old was released from hospital on Thursday and promptly tweeted: "Need to win World Cup just to break even on medical bills."

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