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Doyle emotional after rewriting the history books

 

Class act: Hollie Doyle
Class act: Hollie Doyle

By Martin Kelly

Hollie Doyle became the most successful female jockey in a calendar year in Britain when gaining her 107th victory of 2019 on Class Clown at Southwell yesterday.

Doyle equalled Josephine Gordon's tally of 106, which was achieved in 2017, at Wolverhampton on Saturday - and did not have to wait too long to overtake her friend and colleague, although she had agonisingly ridden three second places on Wednesday.

Sent off the 4-1 favourite, Class Clown, trained by David Barron, took the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Nursery Handicap by a head following a thrilling battle.

"He's a big baby, but the further we went the better he was," said Doyle.

"Two out I thought we'd get there nice and easy, but he had to work hard for it. Half a furlong out I didn't think we'd get by, but the penny dropped eventually.

"I feel a bit emotional and really grateful. I'm just very lucky."

Doyle (23) became the third woman to reach a century in a year after Gordon and Hayley Turner when winning on The Perfect Crown at Chelmsford on November 21.

After bringing up the century, Doyle said her main aim for 2020 was to land a Group-race victory. She has already had five Listed winners, together with success at the Shergar Cup.

Gordon said: "Myself and Hollie started riding at kind of the same time, so to see her do it is brilliant. I know how hard she works. I would have liked to have held the record longer, but I'm not going to be too fussy.

"We're going to see more records broken in the next couple of years by the girls, and maybe it won't be such a big deal in time. She's a grafter and she deserves it."

Archie Watson, who has provided Doyle with over 40 winners this year, said: "The main thing with Hollie is she gives them a ride every time.

"I know all jockeys make mistakes, but I think she makes fewer than most - she's very consistent. She deserves every success, she works very hard and is a very talented jockey.

"I'm delighted she's managed to get the record."

Echoing the thoughts of Watson, Barron said: "It's great for Hollie - I'm delighted for her.

"She's had the odd ride for us. She's mainly based down south, so we haven't used her a lot and that's her first winner for us.

"She gave him a very good ride as he wouldn't be the most straightforward of horses, but she got him going. She is very strong in a finish."

Turner earlier this year became the first female jockey to win at Royal Ascot in 32 years.

The Group One-winning rider said: "Hollie has a great attitude, she's worked really hard so it's great to see her break the record, she thoroughly deserves it and I'm sure this will be the first of many milestones in her career.

"It's great for the sport and I'm just really pleased to see many female jockeys doing well. The standard seems to be raised higher every year and hopefully that continues."

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