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Victoria Pendleton could head to Wincanton for a race which could make or break her Cheltenham Festival aspirations.

The dual Olympic cycling champion made an inauspicious start over regulation fences at Fakenham on Friday when she was unseated from Pacha Du Polder at the seventh fence.

Pendleton, 35, still hopes to compete in the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham next month, but how she gets on at Wincanton on March 2 could shape her destiny.

“She got unseated – it happens to us all – but she’s got to look at it, learn from it and gain experience,” Pacha Du Polder’s trainer Paul Nicholls told At The Races.

“It was just a bit of an unfortunate incident. She’s a novice rider and she’s done very well in a short time, but she’s just got to keep on learning.

“Obviously she needs a clear round to be able to get to Cheltenham.

“I do think we need to run again somewhere to get a clear round. We might well go to Wincanton a week on Wednesday.

“Between us all, we are going to have a sit down and talk about it and make sure we all do the right thing.

“If we’re not happy, we’re not happy, but if she can get a nice, clear round in a fortnight’s time and everything goes right, then we’d be back on track.”

 
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