VICTORIA Pendleton could discover her Cheltenham Festival mount within a week.

The double Olympic cycling gold medallist, who lives in the village of Moreton, near Thame, is yet to finish a race in a pair of point-to-point outings as she bids to qualify to ride in the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase.

But having pulled up in two efforts towards the end of last year she is set to resume her racecourse education with two mounts at Black Forest Lodge in Cornwall on Sunday.

It is understood that Pendleton’s intended mount at Cheltenham is likely to be named in the wake of her riding at Black Forest Lodge.

Pendleton, who finished second in the first of three starts in Flat amateur handicaps but was unseated in the third, has been working with top point-to-point trainer Alan Hill at Aston Rowant, while her project is being backed by Betfair.

Betfair spokesman Barry Orr told the Racing Post: “Ideally, we would have liked to have secured her more race-riding experience at this stage, but injuries to horses, the wet weather and lack of opportunities have all played their part.

“We have managed to secure her some outside rides for the coming weeks and this weekend at Black Forest Lodge, given suitable ground and sound horses, she is scheduled to ride According To Sarah and Supreme Danehill.

“The intention is to give her as much race-riding experience as possible between now and Cheltenham.”

  • HOOK Norton trainer Andy Martin was back in the winner’s enclosure for the first time in three seasons after Sunny Ledgend galloped to victory in gruelling conditions at Towcester.

Sent off the 12-1 outsider of five for a handicap chase over two and a half miles, the 11-year-old put in a terrific round of jumping at the head of affairs under Martin’s son, James, to come home two lengths clear of Cloudy Bob.

Martin, a farrier who trains around half a dozen horses, said: “He is just a resolute galloper and James couldn’t have ridden him any better.

“In 12 days’ time he qualifies as a farrier, but he loves his racing and would love to be a professional jockey.”

Sunny Ledgend was winning for the first time since 2013, and amateur rider James, posting his first win for two seasons, added: “He’s a great ride. He jumped for fun.”

Royal Debutante sprang a 20-1 surprise when making a winning debut at Ludlow for Paul Webber’s Mollington stables, near Banbury.

Liam Treadwell powered the five-year-old daughter of Presenting home by six lengths over a mile and six furlongs.

On the level, Fern Owl got off the mark at the eight attempt for East Ilsley trainer Hughie Morrison at Wolverhampton.