'It feels pretty good' - Hollie Doyle makes history with 899-1 five-timer
One piece of British racing history already belongs to Hollie Doyle, who wrote another chapter in the record books with a fantastic five-timer on Saturday's card at Windsor.
The rider's 116-winner haul last term is the highest achieved by a female jockey in a calendar year in Britain and on Saturday the 23-year-old enjoyed the most sublime few hours of her career so far when dominating the day at Windsor, including wins in the track's two feature races screened on ITV's main channel.
Her 899-1 five-timer – the first time a female rider has had that many winners at a meeting in Britain – began with Indian Creak and soon became a double thanks to Sur Mer.
Le Don De Vie provided her with success in the Listed August Stakes before Extra Elusive struck in the Group 3 Winter Stakes, which left Doyle more than satisfied with her day's work.
"I don't think I've had an afternoon as good as this," she said before it got even better thanks to the history-making victory of Mistress Nellie, a 52-rated five-year-old mare trained near Newmarket by William Stone.
"It feels pretty good," she added when told of her achievement. "I didn't know that, but it feels great.
"I thought I was in for a good day, but after the first one of Richard Hannon's [Dewey Road] who was odds-on and got lapped, I thought it could go one way or the other – like with those two feature races.
"They could either have gone well or it would be a disappointing day, and thankfully it's been a good day."
Doyle, who lives with her partner and fellow weighing room ace Tom Marquand in Hungerford, is unlikely to let the inevitable headlines and spotlight go to her head, while a night of partying was not necessarily in store with six rides at Yarmouth on Sunday.
"I probably won't go crazy celebrating because I've got Yarmouth tomorrow," she said. "I'm probably just grateful for an early enough night at home."
Hollie Doyle's five-timer
Indian Creek 3-1F
Sur Mer 11-4
Le Don De Vie 3-1
Extra Elusive 3-1
Mistress Nellie 11-4JF
If 2019 was a breakthrough campaign for the jockey, this year has been one of more progress with Doyle making her mark at Group level and registering her first Royal Ascot triumph, which came in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap on Scarlet Dragon.
She has even been mentioned in the conversation of title honours, although that might be a bridge too far – for now.
"I just want to get stronger and stronger and stronger, and better in every aspect," she said. "I don't think anyone is the finished article as a jockey and you never will be. I've still got a lot to learn.
"Hopefully, I can get past last year's total of 116 winners. I'd like to ride 100 winners again and then pass that. I've got until the end of the year to do it."
More recognition of Doyle's transition from promising apprentice to go-to name on the big stage came this summer when Extra Elusive's owner Imad Al Sagar made her his retained rider.
"I'm really blessed to get the leg up on these types of horses – good horses," she went on. "I'm jammy to get the job with the owner, but I'm delighted."
Roger Charlton, who trains Extra Elusive, is also part of the fan club and said: "I'm really pleased for Hollie as it was a great ride. Hollie is remarkable, very strong. He's not an easy horse and is quite keen, but she had him very settled there.
"The biggest work of the day was me carrying the saddle cloth from the weighing room to the saddling boxes. I think I must have carried three stone of lead, so I think I'll go home for a rest now."
Doyle might do the same – once she reads all her messages of congratulations that is.
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