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Hollie Doyle enjoys dream end to season with first Group One victory

Jockey Hollie Doyle enjoys dream end to the season with first Group One victory and boyfriend Tom Marquand triumphs twice on Champions Day

  • Doyle landed her first Group one success with Glen Shiel on Saturday
  • Doyle also won the Group Two Long Distance Cup on Trueshan at Ascot 
  • Marquand triumphed in the day’s big race, the Champion Stakes, on Addeybb

British Champions Day at Ascot topped off a dream season for jockey Hollie Doyle when she won two of the six races including the first Group One victory of her career on Glen Shiel in the Champion Sprint Stakes.

Doyle also won the Group Two Long Distance Cup on Trueshan and was second in the Group One Fillies & Mares Stakes on Dame Malliot.

Her partner Tom Marquand put the seal on what has been a golden season for him, too, with a two-and-a-quarter-length win on Addeyybb in the feature Champion Stakes plus a two-and-a-quarter-length success on Jessica Harrington-trained Njord in the Balmoral Handicap.

Record-breaking jockey Hollie Doyle and Glen Shiel took the British Champions Sprint Stakes

Doyle cut out most of the running on Archie Watson-trained 16-1 shot Glen Shiel but had to galvanise him to find more after being headed in the final furlong by Oxted before holding off 80-1 Brando by a nose.

Doyle said: ‘I am in shock. It was too close for comfort. I am delighted I’ve done it on one of Archie’s horses because he has been a huge supporter.’

Reflecting on her dream season, Doyle added: ‘It’s been a bit of whirlwind. My aim at the start of the year was to ride a Group winner and I said a Group One would come one day. I didn’t think it would come this year.’ She joins Hayley Turner and Alex Greaves as British Group One-winning female Flat jockeys.

Tom Marquand triumphed in the day’s big race, the Champion Stakes, on Addeybb

Having also been signed up as the No 1 jockey for Derby-winning owner Imad Al Sagar, Doyle can look forward to more big opportunities.

She is the first female jockey to hold a genuine chance of becoming champion jockey. She stands fourth in the standings behind reigning champion Oisin Murphy and one place behind Marquand. He had to chase his girlfriend home until the William Haggas-trained Addeyybb struck. A real red-letter day for Doyle and Marquand but one to forget for the John Gosden-Frankie Dettori combo.

Stradivarius beat only one of the 13 starters in the Long Distance Cup, with Gosden saying he was unable to act in the testing Ascot going, and Mishriff was only eighth in the Champion Stakes.

Their odds-on favourite Palace Pier lost a shoe and his unbeaten record when beaten over three lengths in third in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes by The Revenant.




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Dream Of Dreams ready to shine at Ascot

Dream Of Dreams bids to cap an excellent couple of months with victory in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.

The six-year-old had gone close in many big races, including finishing second in the last two Diamond Jubilee Stakes, before lifting the Group One Sprint Cup at Haydock – having previously demolished the opposition in Newbury’s Hungerford Stakes.

Those two wins came after a gelding operation, but connections feel that is not the only reason Sir Michael Stoute’s charge appears to have improved.

“The gelding operation has helped, but most sprinters improve as they get older – and he’s the same,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail.

“I wouldn’t say he was fragile, but he used to come back from his races a bit sore and things, and he’s just more mature now.

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“I think he’s a worthy favourite. He had a little breeze on Wednesday morning under Ted Durcan, and he was very happy with him.

“I don’t think he would want really heavy ground, but soft ground is fine.”

The Archie Watson-trained Glen Shiel stayed on well to get within a length and a quarter of Dream Of Dreams at Haydock.

The Pivotal gelding, the mount of Hollie Doyle, carries plenty of confidence on Saturday.

Cosmo Charlton, head racing manager for owners Hambleton Racing, said: “He’s in great form – his last few bits of work have been really good, and Archie has been very happy with him since Haydock.

“The more rain they get, the better. The ground will be fine for him, I’m sure, but we know he handles heavy ground particularly well and will stay further.

“Hopefully he’s going there with a good each-way chance. We’re massive fans of Hollie’s, and it would be brilliant if we could provide her with her first Group One winner.”

A below-par Oxted was forced to bypass the Merseyside challenge, but trainer Roger Teal reports his July Cup hero to be ready to return to action.

“We were unfortunate to miss Haydock, but he seems back on song now. Conditions are probably going to be his biggest hurdle,” he said.

“It suits other horses like Dream Of Dreams and One Master. They have got solid form on soft ground – but if we do handle conditions we’re in with a fighting chance.

“You’re a Group One horse now, so you have to go where the opportunities are. It’s either that, or we don’t run at all.

“The owners are keen to find out – and I’m keen, and he’s in good shape. It’s fingers crossed he handles it and he can put up a performance and mix it with the best of them.

“He’s only had two races this year so we’ve been pretty steady with him and he’s a horse who runs well fresh.”

One Master was runner-up in this race 12 months ago and showed her well-being when winning the Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp for the third year running.

Her trainer William Haggas expects she will do herself justice.

“She should run a good race. She’s done her bit now,” said the Newmarket handler.

“This is a bonus, but she ran such a good race last year and she seems in really good form. She’s got a chance.”

Starman is the unknown quantity in the line-up, having won all his three starts to date in impressive fashion.

The three-year-old claimed the scalp of the smart Dakota Gold in a Listed race at York last time out, and trainer Ed Walker cannot wait to see how he fares in this elite company.

“He’s done nothing wrong – and Dakota Gold, who he beat at York last time, has won the Bengough and the Rous Stakes since,” said Walker.

“To go into a Group One like this on his fourth start is a big ask, but he deserves to take his shot – he’s in great form, and this has been the plan since he won at York.

“The ground probably won’t be ideal, but we’ll see. There was cut in the ground when he won at York, but this will be different again.

“It’s exciting, and we’re looking forward to it.”

Tim Easterby is happy with Art Power as the Sprint Cup fourth returns to the scene of his eyecatching triumph over five furlongs at the Royal meeting.

“He seems in good form. We’ve been happy with him since Haydock and we’re looking forward to it,” said the North Yorkshire trainer.

“It’s a good race – and he has a bit of ground to make up on those that finished in front of him (in the Sprint Cup) – but he’s won at Ascot before, and six furlongs there should be OK for him.

“He’s in good form anyway, so we’ll see.”

Silvestre De Sousa partners Art Power meaning the ride on Andrew Balding’s Happy Power, also owned by King Power Racing, has gone to James Doyle.

“He’s a nice spare – his last run at Newmarket was pretty good,” said Doyle.

“He’s coming in having won his last three starts – it was a good performance the last day. Obviously he’s backing up quite quickly, but the team must be happy to let him take his chance.”

Lope Y Fernandez was only seventh at Haydock, but Aidan O’Brien has not lost faith and is hoping this stiff six furlongs on testing ground may help him.

The son of Lope De Vega was one of the O’Brien horses unable to run during Arc weekend because of issues with contaminated feed.

“We always thought he was a very smart horse. We just weren’t sure about his trip – whether he wanted six or seven furlongs or a mile,” said the Ballydoyle trainer.

“He probably wants a very strongly-run mile, and we thought the seven furlongs in the Foret might have been ideal for him.

“The plan was to go for the Foret and then maybe go for the Breeders’ Cup Mile, (but) when he didn’t have the run in France we left him in at Ascot, thinking the ground might be heavy and the six furlongs might be more like seven furlongs.”

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