Jockey hits back after being questioned by a fan about the gambled runner’s lack of effort

Jockey Stephanie Thornton responded to a tweet about her ride on Campai on the Sunshine Coast. The horse was clearly in the lead on the straight, but was overtaken in the closing stages

Stephanie Thornton had a clear lead over Campai
Stephanie Thornton (circled) had a clear lead over Campai

A jockey has hit back after a race fan questioned her lack of effort in a playful runner.

Stephanie Thornton took to social media to explain the ride on Campai, who shot clean in a race on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. With several lengths ahead of the home round in the Independent Liquor Group Benchmark 65 Handicap, supporters sensed a nice win.

When the other riders began to push away on their mounts, Thornton hadn’t asked the three-year-old filly a question. The jockey began to nudge slightly as the pack closed and then overtook the coveted horse.

Thornton looked down and restricted her movement in the saddle as five rivals swept past. Victory in the 1100m on May 11 went to Imposing Beau, who was only sixth as Campai maintained her healthy lead.

Thornton crossed the finish line sixth on the horse she had won at the track earlier in the year. Afterwards, racing fan Tom Papley tweeted: “Thoughts of Stephanie Thornton at #19 Campai on the sunny coast. Is the horse certainly not fully ridden yet? Big market support late too. Interesting? @PfitznerMiles @SEN_track @qldtrials @browndogg_30x @camluke.”

Other supporters of the sport were quick to point out that there was an important reason Thornton couldn’t ride the horse in the usual way.

Campai was overtaken by several competitors in the closing stages



The jockey replied: “For those commenting… my breastplate broke as I jumped out of the gates and my saddle slipped back near Campai’s flank. I give this horse so much credit for not responding so professionally and for acquitting himself. We were both lucky to get out of here safely.”

The post-race report confirmed that the saddle on the Thoroughbred’s body receded backwards in the early stages, causing her to go wide in the final corner.

Another racing enthusiast sympathized with Thornton, saying, “Look how far the saddle has slid back on the horse, incredibly difficult to ride a horse with a saddle that far back.”

A second person added: “Saddle ride here all day. Luckily she stayed tuned.”

The incident was a rare mishap for Thornton, who is one of the leading female jockeys at the track. She has recorded over 200 winners in her career and banked over £4.5m in prize money.

Jockey Stephanie Thornton


stephthornton99 / Instagram)

The 22-year-old can look back on many successes on the race track


stephthornton99 / Instagram)

Thornton’s partner is fellow jockey Ben Thompson – and her Twitter account features a picture of them together. In October 2021, the jockey had one of the best hitting rates in Queensland with trainer Tony Gollan, Racenet reported.

“Whenever we’ve worked together, but we clicked pretty well, and so did my horses, they race for her, so she got the opportunities,” he said. “Her partner Ben (Thompson) made a good try for us just before he got suspended so it worked out for us to keep him in the household.”

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