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Doyle Is On The Boil

Doubles her target with feature win

Hollie Doyle picked up another Group winner as she landed the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock on Saturday on 11-2 shot Extra Elusive.

She gave a fine front-running ride on the winner, trained by Roger Charlton for owner Imad Alsaga, who recently appointed Doyle as his first jockey.

Extra Elusive won by two-and-a-quarter lengths from Certain Lad with odds-on favourite Global Giant third under Frankie Dettori.

Doyle had targeted a Group win in 2020.

The 23-year-old now has two, with the Group Three victory at Haydock following her Group Two win at Newmarket last month on Dame Malliot.

“She’s doing fantastically well,” said Charlton.

“It’s great for her profession and great for all the girls – it encourages everybody as she’s right up there with the best.”

The 23-year-old set a new benchmark when clocking up her 107th victory of 2019 at Southwell – the most British winners in a year for a woman.

That put her in the top 10 for all British flat riders in a year when Rachael Blackmore was runner-up in the race to be Irish champion jump jockey.

Racing is a rarity in elite sport in having women and men competing against each other on a seemingly level playing field.

But while more than half of the people entering racing schools are women, only 14% of jockeys in Britain are female, says Women In Racing chair Tallulah Lewis.

In 2018 they got 8.2% of the rides but only 1% at the top Group or Grade One level, so the interest is there but something is stopping them reaching the top.

Is it down to ability, resilience or opportunity? The suspicion is that some trainers and owners remain wary of turning to a woman when there are a plethora of men available.

Doyle, along with Hayley Turner and Josephine Gordon – the only other women to have reached the century mark – is helping to change attitudes.

“Given the opportunities, females can compete on equal terms. I just think racing was stuck in the dark ages and was a bit of a man’s world but there’s enough evidence and results now to show females are just as good as males,” says Doyle.

  • Excerpts from BBC.Com

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