‘I set out to ride as many winners as I could this year, so to achieve a new British record for female jockeys is very satisfying’
Hollie Doyle broke the record in Britain for the most winners in a year by a female jockey with her 107th success of 2019 aboard Class Clown at Southwell on Thursday.
Doyle, riding the 4-1 favourite for trainer David Barron in the six-furlong nursery, looked like finishing second to Jochi Khan for most of the final two furlongs but an extra lunge out of the two-year-old in the dying strides secured victory.
“It feels a bit emotional,” said Doyle, wiping away a tear in front of the Sky Sports cameras when asked how she felt about becoming a racing record-breaker. “I’m very lucky and really grateful to all who have supported me.
“I set out to ride as many winners as I could this year, so to achieve a new British record for female jockeys is very satisfying and a wonderful way to end 2019.”
The previous record of 106 was set by Josephine Gordon in 2017 and the only other woman to reach a century in Britain is Hayley Turner, who was the first to achieve the feat with exactly 100 winners in 2008.
Doyle added: “The fact that it was only two years ago that Josie set the last record is really positive and goes to show women are being given more rides every year.
“I’ve been incredibly lucky this year to avoid injury and to work for amazing trainers and owners, so I’d like that to continue and to have even more winners in 2020.”
Class Clown made Doyle sweat for her landmark victory and the rider said: “Two furlongs out I thought I would get there nicely but I had to work hard for it. Half a furlong out I thought I wasn’t going to get by but the penny eventually dropped.”
Doyle’s 107th win puts her tenth in the jockeys’ table for the calendar year.
It has been a tremendous campaign for Doyle, who has ridden winners in Britain for 42 trainers. Forty-two of her victories have been for Archie Watson, her main supporter.
Doyle rose to prominence three years ago with victory aboard Scarlet Dragon in the Old Rowley Cup at Newmarket as a 5lb claimer and she has enjoyed five Listed victories.
Three of those Listed wins have come this year, including aboard the Ed Vaughan-trained Dame Malliot in the Ric and Mary Hambro Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket in July.
Doyle’s previous best tally of winners was 59 victories in 2017 and she rode out her claim that year when based with former boss Richard Hannon.
Gordon said: “Hollie has done brilliantly. We started off at pretty much the same time and were the only girls riding there for a little while – she’s one of my best friends. There’s a few girls I’d like to see go and do it but it’s great for Hollie to achieve it and I feel really good for her knowing how hard she’s worked.
“I would have liked to have held the record for a little bit longer – Hayley held it for almost ten years – but I think in the next few years we’re going to see a lot more girls coming through and doing this. Maybe one day it won’t be such a big deal.”
Doyle finished 13th in the Flat jockeys’ championship that runs from May to mid-October and her mounts have amassed more than £1m in prize-money for the first time this year.
Fellow jockey Tom Marquand, Doyle’s partner, said: “It was an incredible achievement for Hollie to get to 100 winners for the year but to break the overall record is some going. Hayley Turner managed it first but it then took another nine years for Josie to come along and break it and now just two years later Hollie has topped it.
“I don’t think she wants to be viewed as a ‘female jockey’ and for anyone to go over 100 winners – she might even get over 110 by the end of the year – is fantastic and shows the hard work she’s put in. She’s relentless.”
Doyle’s top three moments in 2019
Listed strike on Gorgeous Noora
Doyle did not have to wait long this year for a big-race success as she struck at Listed level aboard Gorgeous Noora for Archie Watson in the Betway Hever Sprint at Lingfield in February.
It was a textbook ride from Doyle, who niggled along the in-form mare early on before bringing her with a telling run down the middle of the track to defeat Royal Birth by three-quarters of a length.
Shades Of Blue scores in France
Trips over the English Channel have been fairly frequent for Doyle during the year and she landed a second Listed winner in France when steering Shades Of Blue to success in the Prix Hampton at Maisons-Laffitte in June.
The Clive Cox-trained three-year-old led on the post to deny Forza Capitano by a short head, following on from Doyle’s first Listed triumph in France aboard the Watson-trained The Weatherman in the Prix Zeddaan at Deauville the previous year.
Joining the exclusive 100 club
Doyle became the third female jockey in Britain to ride 100 winners in a year when successful on the Watson-trained The Perfect Crown at Chelmsford last month.
Doyle followed in the footsteps of Hayley Turner and Josephine Gordon, who recorded best scores of 100 and 106 respectively.
By Jack Haynes (RacingPost)