HomeHorse RacingHollie Doyle proves talent knows no gender boundaries in horse racing world

Hollie Doyle proves talent knows no gender boundaries in horse racing world

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Whilst most sports are now moving to develop and promote their women’s game independently of the men’s, racing has the rare distinction of allowing both sexes to compete directly against one another.

The majority of jockeys are male, but there has been breakthrough after breakthrough in the women’s ranks and responsible for much of that progress is the great talent of Hollie Doyle.

Doyle is not just a supreme female jockey, but a leading rider regardless of gender and is one of only a handful of jockeys to enjoy a retained role as the go-to for Imad Al Sagar’s Blue Diamond Stud.

It is aboard their star mare Nashwa that she has enjoyed great success in recent seasons, winning three Group Ones and collecting several placings at the top level in a career that looks set to continue when the Flat season really starts next month.

John and Thady Gosden train Nashwa but Doyle is the stable jockey for Archie Watson, for whom she has registered countless victories aboard big names such as Glen Shiel, Outbox and last year’s Royal Ascot scorer Bradsell.

With a stable jockey position and a retainer, Doyle could be expected to take only a limited book of outside rides, but her CV proves she is in demand whenever available and she is the rider associated with Alan King’s top stayer Trueshan.

Her status would also grant her the right to sit out the lower quality meetings and choose not to travel the length and breadth of the country for all-weather rides, but Doyle is arguably one of the hardest-working riders in the weighing room and took just shy of 800 rides last year in Britain alone.

During the window that determines the British Flat jockeys’ championship, she rode 89 winners last season, finishing fifth behind William Buick, Oisin Murphy, Rossa Ryan and her husband, Tom Marquand.

In addition to that, she has plied her trade in almost every significant racing jurisdiction that exists and last year brought home prize money from Japan, France, Germany, Sweden and Italy – something she does not take for granted.

“I get loads of support from everyone and it’s really nice to feel that I have such an open book of trainers that are willing to use me,” she said.

“It is great to have the association I have with Imad Al Sagar and it’s even better that Nashwa is in training for another year, and that’s something to look forward to for the season ahead already.

“I’m really lucky, I’m attached to Archie’s stable and always busy in that regard, he has a nice team of horses to go forward with.

“I’ve been riding all around the world, I did a stint in Japan and I thoroughly enjoyed that – it’s something I’ll be hoping to do a lot more of.

“It’s great as it’s always hard to go to a new jurisdiction and pick up some good rides, you have to take it all in and adapt to the style of racing riding there.”

Hayley Turner broke many barriers at a time when there was some reluctance to use female jockeys, with her success then paving the way for younger riders like Doyle.

“Hayley was a massive trailblazer for everyone, especially when I was young and she was really at the peak of her career,” she said.

“She definitely carved out a path and that’s had an impact on us all.”

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