Where, and when, did Hollie Doyle ride her first winner under rules?
Standing just 5′ tall, capable of riding at 8st 0lb and nicknamed the ‘Pocket Rocket’, Hollie Doyle has taken the horse racing world by storm in recent years. In 2019, she rode 116 winners, thereby becoming just the third female jockey, after Hayley Turner and Josephine Gordon, to ride a hundred winners in a calendar year; she also broke the previous record, 106, set by Gordon in 2017. In 2020, even with 75 days of racing lost to the Covid-19 pandemic, Doyle increased her winning tally to 151, breaking her own record.
Indeed, 2020 proved to be something of a ‘breakthrough’ season. Doyle rode her first Royal Ascot winner, Scarlet Dragon, trained by Alan King, in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes and her first Group 1 winner, Glen Shiel, trained by Archie Watson, in the British Champion Sprint Stakes, back at Ascot later in the year. In 2021, so far, she has ridden 146 winners, at the same 15% strike rate she achieved in 2020, so is on schedule to break her own record again.
Of course, everyone starts somewhere and while it seems a very, very long time ago that Hollie Doyle rode The Mongoose, trained by David Evans, to a half-length victory in the Betfred Mobile Sports Lady Riders’ Handicap at Salisbury on May 5, 2013, that was he first success under rules. At that stage, she was a 16-year-old amateur rider and still at school.