'The best in Britain right now': Doyle backed to inspire Deirdre fairytale end
The team behind Japanese star Deirdre believe Hollie Doyle is currently the best jockey in Britain and hope her talents can inspire the globetrotting mare to end her career on a high in Friday's Bahrain International Trophy (1.00pm GMT/4.00pm local).
Doyle's sensational British Champions Day double was enough to convince Yoshi Hashida, assistant and son to Deirdre's trainer Mitsuru, to switch jockeys for the Sakhir showpiece over former riders Oisin Murphy and Jamie Spencer.
He was speaking after the six-year-old was drawn seven of 14 in Friday's £500,000 event, and they hope Doyle’s booking will result in a change of fortune for last year’s Nassau winner who has yet to score in 2020.
"I think Hollie is the best jockey in Britain right now, it's very natural to say that after British Champions Day," said Hashida. "Oisin is a great jockey and so is Jamie and we learnt a lot and they made us famous. But at the end of the racing calendar it's sometimes difficult to keep up the motivation and we needed someone special – Hollie is by far the best jockey for us.
"It's a very competitive race, most of the horses in this would have been favourite for it last year. It's interesting too with so many in there who want to sit back [off the pace]. I think she'll have a great ending [to her career].
Paying tribute ahead of Deirdre's planned retirement, he added: "She's taken us everywhere and this is the eighth country she'll have raced in, which is incredible. I think that could be an unbreakable record for a Japanese horse. When we look back in history, she's been special for us, Japanese racing and maybe international racing too."
Doyle, meanwhile, is raring to go in what she believes is one of the biggest rides of her career. Deirdre's final run is sure to be monitored closely by thousands in her native Japan, while the race is to be shown live in 123 countries.
The jockey said: "This is well up there [with the best], I love these international trips. I've done a few and I enjoy them. It'd mean the world to win it.
"There's a bit of pressure. I just hope I can give her every chance to run the best possible race.
"I've watched every run she's had, she's got so much ability. It's hard to get to the bottom of her and she runs an unlucky race every now and then – she deserves to get her head back in front."
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