Since her debut season in 2014, Hollie Doyle has been smashing glass ceilings left, right and center.
The British jockey has twice beaten her own record for the most winners in a single Flat season by a female, with further successes that include becoming the first woman to win a European Group 1 Classic and finishing joint-second in the champion jockey standings.
Doyle has a chance to become the first woman to ever win that champion jockey title this season, and her start at Royal Ascot has helped to cement that potential…
By Royal Appointment
Although Royal Ascot tips columns had plenty of joy on day one of the 2023 meeting, with many tipping a tight contest between Paddington and Chaldean in the St James’s Palace Stakes – they would end up finishing 1-2, with the former just sneaking the victory.
But it was Doyle who caught the eye with two excellent rides. In the Coventry Stakes, she guided the unheralded 20/1 shot Army Ethos into second place behind River Tiber – confirming her ability to get the very best out of horses who haven’t necessarily made the headlines before.
BRADSELL is back 👏
— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) June 20, 2023
And then in the very next race, the King’s Stand Stakes, Doyle guided the similarly unfancied Bradsell to victory. The duo defeated the 7/4 favorite Highfield Princess by a length to cap an outstanding underdog triumph.
In many ways, Doyle has been an underdog throughout her racing career, but with five Group 1 victories to her name and counting she’s fast becoming one of the premier riders in the sport.
Hitting New Heights
Prior to the start of Royal Ascot, Doyle had commandeered 25 winners during the 2023 Flat season at an impressive strike rate of 17%.
That left her just eight wins behind the joint leaders in the champion jockey standings, Joe Fanning and Oisin Murphy.
Fanning has been a stalwart of British and Irish racing for decades, while Murphy – already a three-time champion jockey – is one of the most talented riders in the sport.
The defending champion jockey, William Buick, was also just a few wins behind Fanning and Murphy at the top of the leaderboard prior to Royal Ascot, so there are plenty of quality operators vying for honors.
The 2023 season will run through until October, which means that there are still hundreds of opportunities for each jockey to stake their claim for what is the ultimate individual accolade in racing – although most would say that winning Group 1 races around the world for their connections is the biggest buzz in the sport.
WINNER Glen Shiel wins the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot under an incredible ride from @HollieDoyle1 to give us our FIRST GROUP 1 WINNER! Well done to all his owners @HambletonRacing and to all of our hardworking team at home! #grouponewinner#glenshiel#saxongatepic.twitter.com/DK5PqgL5Yl
— Archie Watson Racing (@Archie_Watson) October 17, 2020
That’s something that Doyle has accomplished four times on UK soil, starting with the British Champions Sprint Stakes in 2020 and running through to her King’s Stand Stakes victory in June.
Her form travels too, with a pair of Group 1 glories on French turf. Doyle’s stellar 2022 campaign saw her lead Nashwa to glory in the Prix de Diane and The Platinum Queen in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp.
Widely regarded as one of the best riders in racing, it’s surely only a matter of time before Doyle is crowned champion jockey. Will 2023 be her year?