Gay Kellaway says Hollie Doyle is ‘the whole package’ and a rider capable of breaking glass ceilings for female Flat jockeys in Britain.
Back in June, Doyle became the only the second female jockey to ride a winner at Royal Ascot when Scarlet Dragon won the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, 33 years after trailblazing jockey-turned-trained Kelleway landed the Queen Alexandra Stakes on Sprowston Boy.
Kelleway reckons British racing might have found the first female jockey with a genuine chance of being champion jockey.
Hollie Doyle (above) can break glass ceilings for female jockeys, says Gay Kellaway
Kelleway, whose Global Esteem was part of a Doyle-ridden treble at Yarmouth on Sunday, said: ‘I don’t look at Hollie as a female jockey. She has natural ability, she gets horses to settle, puts them in great positions in a race, gives her all and is very brave.
‘Not all jockeys are, some a bit windy and won’t be getting rides from me. Hollie can get on a difficult horse and she won’t flinch. That’s why I believe Hollie is the whole package. She is not driven by money but her passion for horses.
‘But what I admire the most is her work ethic. Trainer Richard Hannon told me when she was an apprentice with him she would always get back to his stable if she could after race riding to muck out and look after her horses.
Doyle won the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot with Scarlet Dragon back in June
‘Now she is on a par with any of the top jockeys, including Ryan Moore, but as a woman you have to try that bit harder to get established. Trainers notice that sort of thing.
‘I have been in the sport 40-odd years and I have seen a lot of jockeys and I watch a lot of racing. I have seen Hollie come through the ranks. She has got better and better.’
A week on from becoming the first female jockey to win five races on card at Windsor, Doyle will break more fresh ground with her first ride in a British group one race on Archie Watson-trained Glen Shiel in tomorrow’s Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock.
It will be the latest in a series of quick-fire landmarks for 23-year-old rider, who in 2019 set a new record for a British female jockey with 116 wins in a year.
Kelleway thinks Doyle (above) is the first female jockey with a real chance of being champion
Despite a serious disrupted year, Doyle, who landed her first group win with Dame Malliot in the Group Two Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket in July, is on already on 97 winners for 2020 and lying fifth in the jockeys’ championship.
The support of Watson, a rising star of the trainer ranks, has been key but arguably the most significant moment of Doyle’s year was being appointed retained jockey to Derby-winning owner Imad Al Sagar last month.
Al Sagar owns Roger Charlton-trained Extra Elusive, who won the Group Three Winter Hill Stakes last Saturday, and John Gosden-trained Faisal, who won at Wolverhampton on Wednesday.
Classic winning jockey turned pundit Jason Weaver said: ‘Hollie’s new retainer will also mean better horses and opens doors.
‘Archie is no mug. He is a young trainer who has burst onto the scene and achieved a lot in a short space of time. He recognised how good Hollie is and has utilised her fantastically.
‘Importantly, she is starting to believe in herself. You have to do at the highest level.’