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RacingBetter News
Tuesday 1st September 2020
Hollie Doyle – A Champion in the Making

If there was any doubt about Hollie Doyle becoming a permanent fixture as a top jockey, her five-timer on Saturday, 28 August at Windsor, consolidated her place among the best – male or female.

She became the first female rider to win fives races on the same card in the UK – at odds of 899-1, highlighted by the victory of Extra Elusive in the featured Gallagher Group Winter Hill Stakes.

Obviously, there’s a whole lot more than good fortune involved and, just like at you have to take the opportunities presented to you.

After being told of the significance of her latest achievment, she told Sky Sports Racing: “It feels great, someone just told me.

“When I woke up this morning I thought it could go one way or the other. I could have a good day or a really bad day!

“The last few years have been awesome, but you’ve got to keep on improving and pushing more and more.

“I like riding under pressure, I feel with the better rides I got I like it more. I love riding horses, you’ve got to to do this job.”

In June she became only the second female Flat jockey to win a race at Royal Ascot when Scarlet Dragon won the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes and  in July she landed her first group win with Dame Malliot in the Group Two Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket.

Increased opportunities have helped of late, bolstered by her association with trainer Archie Watson, further enhanced by being appointed retained jockey to Derby-winning owner Imad Al Sagar.

She has chalked up 95 wins so far this year and this is only set to go much higher with access to better quality rides and openings in even bigger stables.

As you can imagine, success has not come without sacrifice and hard work.  Early in her career, a spell as an apprentice to the trainer David Evans in Monmouthshire wasn’t without its travails and she was struggling to make her mark.

Her father, Mark, told The Times: “I told her, ‘You’ve got to keep working hard. You’re a girl. You’ve got to work twice as hard. Just to get a ride, you’ve got to be first in the yard and you’ve got to be the last to leave.’

“She was getting rides at Dave’s but she was getting beaten. She lost her confidence. I know Kieren Fallon [the former champion jockey] pretty well and asked if he’d take her with him to America in the winter.

“She was only 16. She just needed to get away. She was there for three months and she was a different rider when she came back.”

At the rate she is progressing, we see no reason why she shouldn’t one day become champion jockey one day.

John Reid, her coach in her early days as an apprentice jockey, says she has the ability: 'Hollie is competing with the best riders in the world and she has shown she can do it. Wherever she goes she will hold her own.

'It's that determination which makes horses go. I have had some good kids but that is an ingredient which you can't put in if it is not there. You can't coach will to win but Hollie has it in bucket loads.'

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