Doyle has five chances to record first QIPCO British Champions Day success in landmark season
2020 has been a momentous year for Hollie Doyle. With Royal Ascot success and multiple Group-race winners, Doyle has established herself as one of the finest jockeys of her generation.
Doyle also enjoyed a first ride in a British G1 contest aboard Glen Shiel in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock and chases further riches on QIPCO British Champions Day with five rides across the magnificent six-race card.
The jockey has enjoyed two G3 successes aboard the Roger Charlton-trained Extra Elusive for her retainer Imad Al Sagar this season and the pair line-up in the feature race of the day, the 10-furlong £750,000 G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes (3.40pm) in which they face 10 rivals including French Derby hero Mishriff, Investec Derby winner Serpentine and last year’s winner Magical.
“Extra Elusive has been an excellent horse for me”, said Doyle. “It’s been great to win two big races on him this season already. This is obviously a tough task, but he doesn’t mind the ground and he has also run well at the track before. It’s great to have a ride in the QIPCO Champion Stakes and I am really looking forward to it.”
Doyle’s first G1 ride came aboard Dame Malliot in the Preis Von Europa at Cologne in August and the duo are reunited in the £350,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares (2.30pm) over 12 furlongs after Ed Vaughan’s stable star finished a creditable third in the G1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp last month under Frankie Dettori.
She continued: “Dame Malliot runs in the Fillies & Mares. She ran a great race to finish third under Frankie in the Prix Vermeille last time out. She will appreciate the cut in the ground and will love Ascot. It is a big galloping track and I think that will really play to her strengths. The Vermeille form has worked out really well and looks to have been one of the best races of the season for fillies and mares. It would be lovely to give Ed Vaughan a big-race winner before he stops training at the end of the season, and I am grateful for the opportunity to ride her given to me by Anthony Oppenheimer.”
Glen Shiel produced a career-best under Doyle to chase home Dream Of Dreams in the G1 Sprint Cup at Haydock last time out and the pair face off once more in the £391,260 six-furlong G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint at 1.55pm. Discussing the Archie Watson-trained sprinter, Doyle said: “I’m really looking forward to riding Glen Shiel after his performance at Haydock last time out. Sprinters can sometimes be in and out with their form, but he has run a number of good races this season. He needs to take another step forward here, but he will love the ground and we are hopeful of a good run.”
Doyle also rides the progressive Trueshan, a gutsy winner at Salisbury last time out for Alan King in the opening £300,000 G2 QIPCO Long Distance Cup (1.20pm). Rivals in the two-mile event include the outstanding Stradivarius, whilst in the concluding £100,000 mile Balmoral Handicap (4.20pm), Doyle is aboard the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Solid Stone who she steered to success at Chelmsford last time out.
Discussing their chances, Doyle continued: “Trueshan is a horse I have always liked. I won twice on him last season and he did well to win at Salisbury last time out. It is of course a tough assignment with the likes of Stradivarius lining up, but he will really enjoy the ground and I think there is plenty more to come from him.
“Solid Stone is a really capable horse who should hopefully run well in the Balmoral Handicap. He handles the ground and handles the surface having won on turf twice before. He showed a good attitude to score under me at Chelmsford last time and we’re hopeful of a good run.
“It is absolutely crazy to be having five rides on QIPCO British Champions Day. I can’t believe it. Having one ride would have been brilliant, but to have five is what dreams are made of and I am really looking forward to the day.”
At Kempton on Wednesday, October 14 Doyle set another milestone in what has already been a remarkable season for the 24-year-old as she once broke her own British record for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey.
The landmark success, her 117th of the season, came aboard the Ralph Beckett-trained State Occasion, who benefitted from a fine Doyle ride to score by a short-head.
Doyle ended last season with 116 winners – breaking Josephine Gordon’s record of 106 – but with over two and a half months of the year left, she will certainly not be resting on her laurels.
Amongst her other highlights this season, Doyle enjoyed a first Royal Ascot victory aboard Scarlet Dragon in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap and a first Group winner when partnering Dame Malliot to victory in the G2 Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket.
Doyle also memorably enjoyed a 899/1 five-timer at Windsor on August 29, becoming the first woman to land five winners at a single meeting.
Reflecting on her remarkable season, Doyle said: “It was great to get the job done at Kempton on Wednesday. I really wanted to set the record again just to prove that it wasn’t a fluke or a one-off. I want to do as well as I can from this year onwards.
“I thought it was a bit of a write-off getting the record when we had the delay to the start of the season. I am just grateful it has worked out the way it has.
“Things have been incredible for me. I have had plenty of support my agent Guy Jewell has done an excellent job. Archie Watson has given me plenty of support in the last few years, which has given me a great platform. Then to get my retainer for Imad Al Sagar has been a fantastic opportunity too.
“What I wanted to do this year was to ride a Group winner, so to ride four of them already has been brilliant. Winning a G1 is the next target, but I am no fool and I know how hard it is to come across G1 horses. Hopefully in the next few years, it may happen.
“Royal Ascot was a pretty good day for me to win aboard at Scarlet Dragon. I was pretty gobsmacked as he was an outsider so that was a dream come true.
“To be champion jockey would be an absolute dream, but we will see how it goes. For me, I could not have done any more than I have this year. I am in fourth in the table at the minute and I can’t really do any more than I am doing. I think people sometimes think jockeys sit back and think ‘I might try and be champion this year’, but realistically most of us are trying as hard as we can all year round. If I land in that position it will be amazing, but for the moment I will just carry on trying to ride winners.”
Hollie Doyle factfile & 2020 QIPCO British Champions Day rides:
2020 winners: 117 (as of October 15)
First G1 ride: Dame Malliot, Preis Von Europa, Cologne, August 15, 2020
First British G1 ride: Glen Shiel, Sprint Cup, Haydock, September 5, 2020
Royal Ascot winner: Scarlet Dragon, Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap, July 19 2020
Biggest win: Dame Malliot, Group Two, Princess Of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes, Newmarket, July 9 2020
QIPCO British Champions Day rides
1.20pm – G2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup – Trueshan – Alan King
1.55pm – G2 QIPCO British Champions Sprint – Glen Shiel – Archie Watson
2.30pm – G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes – Dame Malliot – Ed Vaughan
3.40pm – G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes – Extra Elusive – Roger Charlton
4.15pm – Balmoral Handicap – Solid Stone – Sir Michael Stoute
Turner, Currie & Osborne also in action on QIPCO British Champions Day
As well as Hollie Doyle, three other riders will also be bidding to become the first woman to ride a winner on QIPCO British Champions Day.
Hayley Turner, who wrote herself into the history books when becoming the first woman jockey to win a G1 race outright on Dream Ahead in the 2011 Darley July Cup, partners Onassis in the G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (1.55pm). Turner partnered the Charlie Fellowes-trained three-year-old to success in the Sandringham Fillies’ Handicap at Royal Ascot and the duo have since gone to Listed wins at Chantilly and Goodwood.
Saffie Osborne is successfully combining her career as a European champion eventer with also being an apprentice jockey, with eight winners to her name. Osborne teams up with Ascot specialist Raising Sand in the Balmoral Handicap at 4.15pm. In the same contest, Nicola Currie will be aboard the George Baker-trained Graignes.