Dynamic Hollie Doyle may be the only female jockey racing for glory in today’s Bahrain International Trophy race but her male counterparts know what a tough talent she will be to beat.
She’s on the saddle of thoroughbred Dierdre, who will have her final run here in the kingdom and Doyle would love to ensure the mighty mare ends its illustrious winning career with a final victory.
“I’m so pleased to be in Bahrain for the first time and to be a part of this prestigious event. I can’t wait for the start today!” she told the GDN.
In the Post Position Draw, Deirdre’s Japanese owners described her as ‘the best jockey in the UK now’.
Ms Doyle ... fearless competitor
Doyle rode her first pony race at the age of nine and flash forward 17 years and she was recording her first win at Royal Ascot steering outsider Scarlet Dragon to victory in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes.
She rode her first Group race winner on Dame Malliot in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes on the July course at Newmarket. In the same month she was appointed as a retained jockey for Derby-winning owner Imad Al Sagar and in August won the Rose of Lancaster Stakes on Extra Elusive for her new retainer.
On August 29, Doyle rode five winners in one day at Windsor Racecourse, making her the first female jockey to win five races on the same card in the country. And, last month she rode her 117th winner of the season, breaking the female jockeys’ record she set in 2019, finishing fourth in the Jockeys’ Championship.
The coveted Bahrain International Trophy
The 26-year-old has built up a glowing reputation as a fearless competitor. In June 2018 Doyle was unseated in a race at Haydock and suffered facial injuries including the loss of several teeth. She returned to race riding after 10 days.
She would love nothing better than to add glory in the Bahrain contest to her list of achievements as the kingdom becomes the talk of the racing world.
Excitement has been building ahead of the second £500,000 Bahrain International Trophy at the Rashid Equestrian Horse Racing Club with 14 jockeys from five countries competing for the elite title.
“The hospitality I have received since being in Bahrain has been amazing and from what I have seen the track is in great order too,” Doyle told the GDN.
“I don’t see why the future of horse racing in the kingdom isn’t going to continue to develop further.
“The Bahrain International Trophy has attracted many trainers from England, Ireland and even Japan, so people are really noticing how good it is here.”
In preparation of today’s big race she said she had studied many race replays from Bahrain to help formulate an ideal racing style.
She also revealed that by walking on the track she had the opportunity to ask around for advice and to better understand the task ahead.
Doyle is delighted to be riding Dierdre. The super mare won the Queen Stakes and the Fuchu Himba Stakes as well as being placed in both the Dubai Turf and the Hong Kong Cup. In 2019 she became the first Japan-trained horse in 19 years to win a major race in the UK when she won the Nassau Stakes.
The Bahrain International Trophy race, sponsored by Batelco, Bapco and the Economic Development Board, will start at 4pm with local and global media outlets covering the prestigious event with live coverage for race fans.