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Doyle delight Part One: Glen Shiel provides her with first Group One victory

Sat 17 Oct 2020

Watch what Hollie Doyle had to say after landing a thrilling Sprint Stakes just 35 minutes after becoming the first female rider to win on Qipco British Champions Day

 Doyle can barely believe it as Glen Shiel is called the winner (Focusonracing)
Doyle can barely believe it as Glen Shiel is called the winner (Focusonracing)

Hollie Doyle landed her first Group One success when snatching the verdict on Glen Shiel in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.

Just 35 minutes after Doyle had become the first female rider to win on British Champions Day in the opening Long Distance Cup on Trueshan, the 24-year-old broke yet more new ground in a record-breaking year.

Doyle and connections of the Archie Watson-trained six-year-old had to wait a few anxious moments for the result of the photo-finish before it was confirmed Glen Shiel (16-1) had beaten the veteran Brando by a nose.

Glen Shiel was always in the front rank after being smartly out of the stalls and was joined three furlongs out by Oxted. The July Cup winner took the lead, but had nothing more to give in the final half-furlong.

Watch a full replay of a superb Sprint

Glen Shiel kept on giving back in front - and just held the very late challenge of 80-1 outsider Brando. One Master was half a length away in third place.

Doyle said: "I'm in a state of shock right now. I didn't think I'd won, so to have had the result we have was incredible. We had a good old battle with Oxted from the three-pole and I thought that I would be doing well to hold on like I did, but he is such a game horse.

"He is incredible. He has got quicker with age. When we first got him, he was running over 10 furlongs in France and didn't show a whole lot of speed, but the further we dropped him back, the quicker he has got."

She added: "It's not about me it's about Archie Watson, he has campaigned this horse unbelievably. No one else would have won a Group One with this horse.

"It is a dream come true, a massive dream come true, especially on this horse. Everyone in the yard adores him. My aim at the start of the year was to ride a Group winner and I always said a Group One one day, but I didn't think it would come this year.

Doyle reflects on her landmark success

"I don't get too carried away, but I'm a bit delusional as to what is going on at the moment as it has all been a bit of a whirlwind. It has been a great few years.

"It feels really unusual as for someone like me it doesn't normally happen, but it has done today."

Watson said: “That is my first Group One winner and it is absolutely amazing. He is some horse and there aren’t many Group One horses that are picked up for £45,000 at a horses in training sale. He has just improved throughout the year.

“I was delighted to see Hollie get her first Group One winner as she is such a hard-working rider. I’m so pleased that I was able to give her that breakthrough Group One as we have had so many winners together. Her being on this winner means a lot to me and the yard.

“I’ve been knocking on the door at Group One level with the likes of Soldier’s Call, Snowy Winter and Absolute Blast, who were all Group One-placed. For him to get his head in front is massive for the yard, as we’ve only been going just over four years.”

The Kevin Ryan-trained Brando was ridden by Tom Eaves, who said: "He has run a stormer. You are always gutted finishing second, but he has run a great race. It was a bob of the heads. I'm delighted, but gutted at the same time.

"He has been running OK. He ran well at York last Saturday and that probably put him right. York has never been his sort of track. He likes it here on this big, stiff track. It is a great training performance."

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