OLYMPIC hockey gold medallist Sam Quek MBE was among leading sportswomen who gathered at Haydock Park to promote a development award which offers female jockeys a “life-changing” £20,000.

The award, from Jockey Club North West is in its second year after 2016 saw Emma Sayer win the prize in a nail-biting finish.

Katie Walsh, the most successful female jockey in Grand National history, was also at Haydock last Thursday to promote the event.

The award will be presented to a lady jockey who rides a winner at Carlisle’s #AmazingMonday fixture on Monday, August 7 and then goes on to win the Betfred Ladies’ Trophy Handicap Stakes at Haydock Park on Saturday, August 12.

Katie Walsh, the most successful female jockey in Grand National history who is supporting the award, said: “It’s a fantastic prize that offers a life-changing amount of money to whoever is successful in the series. I just wish that I was able to compete in it!

“The award is a great incentive to help along women jockeys. Racing has come such a long way in the last 10 to 15 years and awards like this can only help raise the profile.”

Olympic gold medallist and Jockey Club North West ambassador Sam added: “It’s the world’s only all-female race fixture and that is a massive statement by the Jockey Club North West. Female jockeys are good, they’re damn brave and deserve this recognition. I cannot wait to see who claims the prize.

“It not only takes talent and commitment to get to the top of any sport, but also vital support and this is what this Development Prize offers. It is a great incentive for female jockeys and that prize can help them in so many ways reach their full potential.”

For tickets and information for Haydock Park’s Betfred Rose of Lancaster raceday visit haydock.thejockeyclub.co.uk.

See page 43 of this week's Star for the Ladies' Day competition launch.