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Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Ambassador Georgia Connolly will saddle up in the annual women-only Magnolia Cup at Goodwood, the first Australian to take up the reins in the race at the world-famous British racecourse.

This year the Magnolia Cup will benefit Wellbeing of Women, Britain’s leading women’s reproductive and gynaecological health charity dedicated to saving the lives of women and children across the United Kingdom.

Georgia will turn amateur jockey for the race, held on Ladies’ Day during the Qatar Goodwood Festival, where she will compete against high-profile women from the worlds of business, sport, fashion and the media including Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton, British model Rosie Tapner and Irish television personality Vogue Williams.

Each jockey has been issued with a tough training programme to get them race-fit and must pass a rigorous fitness test before competing.

Most of them have ridden as a hobby, but will face an entirely new challenge racing as a jockey and reaching speeds of up to 45km/h.

An experienced eventer, Georgia has two horses in work at her property on the Mornington Peninsula and said she was thrilled to be the first Australian selected to ride in the race.

“I am absolutely delighted to have been selected to ride in the Magnolia Cup, especially when it benefits such a worthwhile charity in Wellbeing of Women,” she said.

“I can’t wait to start training and riding trackwork. It’s going to be a steep learning curve but I’m very competitive, so fingers crossed if I put in the hard work I can place, if not win!”

Now in its ninth year, the Magnolia Cup has raised more than $2.5 million for a number of charities since its inception.

VRC Executive General Manager Customer Engagement Caroline Ralphsmith said the Club was looking forward to supporting Georgia’s journey to the Magnolia Cup.

“Georgia is a fantastic ambassador for the VRC and her love of horses combined with her competitive nature will stand her in good stead for the Magnolia Cup,” Ms Ralpshmith said

“We’re pleased that our digital media company World Horse Racing will follow Georgia’s journey, meaning we can all keep track of her progress and her raceday at Glorious Goodwood.

“Good luck to Georgia and all the competitors.”

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