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Talking Horses: Is Holly Doyle’s time to become a champion jockey? | Horse racing


InAs the football season was almost over and the World Cup was approaching Christmas, the stars lined up for the races to enjoy the unusually high public for the next few weeks. First, the Derby will take center stage during the Platinum anniversary celebrations, and then in mid-June the focus will be on Royal Ascot, when the Queen is expected to have a few favorite runners.

And while it may seem tempting to offer it tempting, there are early indications that if the pomp and ceremony of Ascot are completed for another year, the race for the Flat Jockey Championship could keep the sport in the public eye through the summer months and beyond. autumn.

Twelve months ago, there were high hopes that Holly Doyle would take third place in the Athlete of the Year competition in December 2020 with great success in becoming the first female champion jockey in Britain. Due to the fact that Tom Marquand, her partner, also expected to participate in the runs, the PR potential of this sport was huge.

As it turned out, Doyle’s challenge almost came out of the starting stalls. By the end of June, when Oysin Murphy and William Buick, the eventual winner and second, had 46 and 51 wins, respectively, Doyle was already drifting heavily at 32.

However, in the first three weeks of the 2022 campaign, Doyle began working. In May 2021, she won 15 winners, but has already reached 18 this month, two behind Buick – who remains the title favorite – and three ahead of Marquand. Ben Curtis also has 18 winners, but former champion Sylvester de Souza, who scored 20-1 in the championship, has only nine and some are catching up.

It is also interesting that Doyle was the busiest of the likely contenders for the title in the first weeks of the campaign. Girl Nikki, the first of her seven rides in Wolverhampton on Monday afternoon, became her 100th trip since the title race began on April 30th. Buick and Marquand made 91 and 84 trips respectively on Monday’s cards, while Curtis had just 68, and his current second place in the championship race was due to a very impressive strike rate of 26%.

It will be virtually impossible for Curtis to maintain that level of success during the summer months and even at this early stage – and before deviations or injuries begin to intervene – this year’s title could boil down to a three-way game between Buick, Doyle and Marquand.

A short guide

Greg Wood’s advice for Monday



1.10 Nicky’s Girl
1.40 Give a little
2.10 Plancina (nb)
2.40 Believer
3.10 Autonomy
3.40 The Glorious Witch
4.15 Sir Min


1.20 Mastalim
1.50 Outrageous
2.20 Arya
2.50 Cisco Disco
3.20 Knight of Honor
3.50 Salvator Mundi (nap)
4.25 Bondi Girl


1.30 Soft Ben
2.00 White turf
2.30 High technology
3.00 Oxwich Bay
3.30 Technological
4.05 Richie Valentine
4.35 Chase Park


4.45 The Art of Illusions
5.20 Call the fairies
5.50 Le Tueur
6.20 Watashok
6.50 One for Billy
7.20 Elham Valley
7.50 Carriedown Boy


5.10 Silks Pass
5.40 Uncle
6.10 The power of love trophy
6.40 Navello
7.10 Mysterious
7.40 Lucayan
8.15 Merveb

Thanks for your feedback.

Buick, of course, is a great jockey and remains a strong favorite for the title. For the past two seasons, his strike rate has barely fluctuated from 22%, and Charlie Appleby, his main employer, may have his strongest team this year.

While none of Buick’s competitors can hope to be in his travels for depth of quality, Doyle can also look forward to some high-profile meetings and potential landmarks in the coming weeks. Nashwa, an impressive winner in Newbury earlier this month, is the second 5-1 favorite, giving Doyle his first classic winner at Oaks in Epsom next month. Meanwhile, her old ally Trushan, who is due to perform in Sandown this Thursday, could become a favorite at the Golden Cup, a special event at Royal Ascot.

Holly Doyle and Jemhaan won in Newmarkets earlier this month. Photo: Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

Inside the racing bubble it can sometimes rub a little when the outside world suddenly wakes up from the fact that it is the only major sport in which athletes and athletes compete on equal terms. Based on this, Doyle, like Rachel Blackmore in jumping, is a very successful and talented racer who is just a woman and her gender should have almost nothing to do with her achievements.

But everyone loves the “first” and a simple fact: the first success of the English classic jockey would attract attention and air as few others. It will also be a long challenge for the Jockey Championship, and this time it may be the story of the summer.


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