Woman’s realm - Simpson’s SOAPBOX

England team coach Hope Powell instructs her players during the quarterfinal match between England and France at the Women's Soccer World Cup in Leverkusen, Germany, Saturday, July 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
England team coach Hope Powell instructs her players during the quarterfinal match between England and France at the Women's Soccer World Cup in Leverkusen, Germany, Saturday, July 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
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SISTERS are doing it for themselves ... in all manner of sports.

The most noteworthy recent example is Hayley Turner, who created a piece of turf history by becoming the first female to ride a Group One winner outright when booting home Dance Ahead to victory in the July Cup at Newmarket.

Another female jockey, Alex Greaves, had won the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, but that was not outright as she was involved in a dead-heat for first place riding Ya Malak back in 1997.

It seems amazing now, but when I first started following the sport seriously women were actually debarred from having a trainer’s licence.

And it was onlyafter the redoubtable Florence Nagle took on the racing establishment, and won the right to hold a licence, that this aberration was removed in 1966.

It is not being patronising to say that but punters would have no qualms whatsoever in seeing Turner carrying their money in a race. She is guaranteed to give any horse a ride as good as any man. You don’t ride 100 winners in a season, as Turner has, if you are second rate.

The same goes for Cathy Gannon, who is as strong and determined in the saddle as any male counterpart.

And there several young women jockeys coming through, the best of the emerging crop perhaps being Lucy Barry.

The good thing, as in all sports, is that the women are coming through at the same time and pushing each other to greater endeavours.

I am willing to bet that some time, perhaps in the not too distant future, a woman will manage a Football League team.

It would be brilliant for the game if someone grasped the nettle and appointed Hope Powell as manager.

She is considering her future in the wake of England’s exit from the World Cup in a penalty shootout against France.

She has all the coaching qualifications and is not afraid to call it as she sees it, accusing some England players of being cowards for not volunteering to take penalties last Saturday.

You would no more cross Hope Powell than get on the wrong side of Sir Alex Ferguson.