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Marquand, Doyle and Fallon: Star trio to shine again

16 Feb 2021

We look at three of racing's most exciting young jockeys who look set to build their reputations further in 2021

Hollie Doyle, Tom Marquand and Cieren Fallon each enjoyed landmark first Group 1 wins in the QIPCO British Champions Series last year. After tasting success at the top table, you can guarantee the star trio will be hungry for more this year.

Hollie Doyle

Doyle must have been one of the few people in the world who never wanted 2020 to end. She enjoyed a record-breaking year on the track and won numerous awards off it. In addition to riding 151 winners, she was also third in the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year.

The good news for the 24-year-old is that the two horses she guided to glory on Champions Day at Ascot  will be back for more.

Trueshan, trained by Alan King, was a runaway winner of the Long Distance Cup and promises to be a leading player in the Long Distance category. No female jockey has ridden the winner of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, yet. But rewriting the record books is becoming second nature to Doyle.

“That was incredible; he has given me some feel there, I travelled all over them,” Doyle said. “This is a proper horse. I rode him on his first two wins and have always liked him.”

Glen Shiel made massive strides for the stable of Archie Watson last year and scooped the Champions Sprint after finishing runner-up in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock. Those race will be on the seven-year-old’s agenda, as well as the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and Darley July Cup.

“We got him out of Andre Fabre’s and we ran him over 10 furlongs,” Doyle said. “Archie kept stepping him back and back in trip and I am not going to lie, even I doubted it, but this is obviously the key to him.”

Doyle will have to do without the services of top-class mare Dame Malliot, who has been retired. However her retainer with Classic-winning owner and breeder Imad Al Sagar may yield new opportunities. For instance, she partnered the owner’s Extra Elusive to finish sixth in the QIPCO Champion Stakes in October.

Tom Marquand

Her fiancé, Marquand, scooped the Champion Stakes aboard Addeybb and can look forward to renewing that association. Marquand has ridden Addeybb on five occasions and won three Group 1s on William Haggas’s stable flagbearer.  He has been beaten only once on him, when the pair were runners-up in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, and won’t be complaining if it’s a soggy summer.

“I have never sat on a horse like him, who is able to jump out on heavy ground and travel as if it is quick,” Marquand said. “Again in the straight, he was so powerful through the line and he just trucks on as if the ground is not an issue, which is phenomenal.

Other possible Series contenders for Marquand, 22, are Addeybb’s stablemates, Nahaar and Pablo Escobarr. Plus Khalifa Sat, the Investec Derby runner-up. Nahaar snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the QTS Ayr Gold Cup in September. Having had only ten runs, he could be a fascinating contender in the Sprint Category.

Cieren Fallon

One of the established stars of that category is Oxted, with whom Cieren Fallon has forged a strong bond. The rider’s confidence in the Roger Teal-trained gelding was unshakeable even before winning the Darley July Cup.

Oxted also made a bold bid in the Champions Sprint before the combination of soft ground and lack of a recent run seemed to find him out in the closing stages. Fallon, 21, is relishing renewing the association and his role as No 2 rider for Qatar Racing Limited. Plus his link with William Haggas, might also yield more opportunities.

“It’s going to be a big ask from this year, but hopefully it’s going to be a big year,” Fallon said of Oxted at the end of last year. “We’re going to go to Royal Ascot and hopefully he can try to win that Champions Sprint.”