THE pomp and ceremony of Royal Ascot never fails to deliver.

Last week’s meeting attracted just under 300,000 customers through the gates and great viewing figures on ITV Racing with a peak audience of 1.4m on Thursday afternoon.

On the track there were many historic moments, notably Frankie Dettori winning the first four races on Thursday. But it wasn’t all about the males.

Jockey Hayley Turner became just the second female rider to win at the meeting – following jockey-turned-trainer Gay Kelleway’s success, 32 years earlier. Kelleway rode Sprowston Boy to a runaway victory in the Queen Alexandra Stakes – back in 1987.

This year, Turner steered 33-1-shot Thanks Be to Sandringham Stakes success on Friday.

After her victory, she spoke about how female riders are fast becoming serious contenders for the big races, saying: “I went in the changing room today and there was Josephine Gordon, Hollie Doyle, Nicola Currie, they’re all there all the time now.

“The standard is just so high and they all deserve to be here with good rides. The media are all, ‘Aw, the girls don’t get a fair chance', but the numbers are rising and in 10 years’ time, the girls will be having winners more often and it won’t be a big thing. It’s just going to snowball, but it’ll take time.”

At last Monday’s meeting at Chepstow it was exciting to see the next generation of female riders featuring so prominently, with seven ladies booked for a total of twelve rides across-the-card.

On the subject of female talent – Shirenewton-based trainer Grace Harris saddled another six runners at Chepstow on Monday. She has become a regular fixture in the winners’ enclosure – particularly with three-time course winner and daughter of Canford Cliffs, Bungee Jump.

And just to give the men a mention, 18-year-old Rossa Ryan is one of those flying the flag for emerging talent, as he sits top of the jockeys’ standings at Chepstow. He went into Monday’s meeting with a 43 per cent strike-rate, returning a +£45 profit to a £1 stake.

There is plenty of racing to come at Chepstow, starting with Summer Evening Racing on Tuesday, 2nd July. On Friday, 12th July it’s the return of the ever-popular Ladies Evening – our feature meeting of the summer season – featuring 90s pop sensations All Saints.

Tickets for all meetings can be purchased via the Chepstow Racecourse website.