Could Hollie Doyle become the first female to win the Flat Jockeys Championship?
Since bursting onto the horseracing scene in 2017, Hollie Doyle has already made a lasting impression and has a hugely promising future ahead. Still just 23, she has already become the most successful female flat racing jockey of all-time.
In December 2019 aboard Class Clown at Southwell, Doyle reached the milestone of 107 winners during the calendar year, breaking the previous record for British victories by a female jockey, previously held by Josephine Gordon. After achieving that landmark, Doyle made it clear that her ambitions didn’t stop there, keen to keep improving and challenging herself to do even better over the coming years.
Amongst those challenges will undoubtedly be the target of winning the Flat Jockeys Championship. This title has been won by some of the most legendary names in British horseracing over the years, although none of them were women. Doyle certainly doesn’t lack for determination and ambition, with every chance she could eventually become the first female jockey to achieve the feat, even if doing so in 2020 might be a tall order.
Aiming for the second consecutive title of his career, Oisin Murphy is currently aiming for a repeat of the title he won for the first time in 2019. According to the latest horse racing betting odds for the Flat Jockeys Championship, The 24-year-old Irishman is priced at -275 as the clear outright favorite. As of August 4, Murphy had reached the milestone of 70 wins from 402 rides to produce a 17% strike rate. However, the race to become the best flat racing jockey in 2020 is far from over, despite the current advantage which Murphy maintains.
With so many races yet to come between now and November 7, when the flat racing season concludes, other leading jockeys are still in with a good chance of closing the gap.
That still includes Hollie Doyle at this stage of the season, having reached 47 wins from 293 rides for an impressive 16% strike rate, making her a +2000 outside consideration in the betting stakes. Doyle is currently 5th in the Flat Jockeys Championship rankings, and if that isn’t impressive enough, she has even achieved a better strike rate than her boyfriend and fellow jockey, Tom Marquand, who is currently the +350 second favorite for the championship.
As of August 4, Marquand has 57 winners from 386 rides and is amongst a tightly grouped chasing pack, William Buick has 56 winners from 234 rides, while Ben Curtis has 56 winners from 357 rides. Nevertheless, Doyle is very much still within touching distance with her 47 winners and could yet push herself higher up the rankings.
Finishing within the top five is a notable achievement for any flat racing jockey, regardless of gender. Nevertheless, if Doyle can maintain or even improve her position this year, it will be further evidence that she genuinely has the potential to be a future flat racing champion.
Whether that happens or not, it’s already clear that Doyle is already well on track to being the greatest female flat jockey of all time in British racing.
What makes this all the more interesting, if Doyle and Marquand can both realize their potential at the time, that will undoubtedly add some extra spice to their relationship, with both highly competitive jockeys living under the same roof. We can only imagine the conversations, discussing race performances, and each challenging the other to strive for continued success.