The dual Olympic cycling champion declared her intention to line up in the amateurs’ Gold Cup at Cheltenham just over a year ago, with Betfair backing her ‘Switching Saddles’ challenge.
Her path to the Festival has been far from smooth, but she posted a landmark success aboard her possible Foxhunter ride Pacha Du Polder at Wincanton on Wednesday, although she was unseated at a point-to-point on Saturday.
Her Wincanton victory came just under two weeks after Pendleton had been unshipped from Pacha Du Polder at Fakenham and there has been much discussion around her capability to ride at the showpiece meeting, with former champion jockey John Francome describing her as “an accident waiting to happen”.
A panel, which includes Pacha Du Polder’s trainer Paul Nicholls, jumping guru Yogi Breisner and Lawney and Alan Hill, from whose yard she has been riding out, are heavily involved in the decision process.
Pendleton has so far adopted a pragmatic approach to the issue of Cheltenham and is happy to defer to her team in terms of a Festival call.
She said: “I trust and have faith in the experts around me to make the right decision.
“I’ll be happy with whatever decision they choose.”