Hollie Doyle must have been one of the few people in the world who never wanted 2020 to end.
It was a remarkable 12 months for the rider, who broke her own record for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey before enjoying a QIPCO British Champions Day double at Ascot – including her first Group 1 aboard Glen Shiel in the British Champions Sprint (below).
Earlier in the campaign she rode five winners at a Windsor meeting and claimed her first Royal Ascot success on Scarlet Dragon.
She also signed a coveted retainer from Classic-winning owner and breeder Imad Al Sagar, plus rode at the Breeders’ Cup in America for the first time. For good measure, Doyle also rode a winner in the Longines International Jockeys Championship in Hong Kong.
Off the track the 24-year-old’s outstanding achievements were also recognised with several awards. Doyle was named Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year, the Sports Journalists’ Association Sportswoman of the Year and Flat Jockey of the Year at the HWPA Derby Awards.
Oh, and she finished third in the Sports Personality Of The Year and got engaged to long-time boyfriend and fellow jockey Tom Marquand.
Having cut her teeth on the pony racing circuit, Doyle left school in 2013, aged 16, to launch her career as a jockey. Her first employer was David Evans, for whom she rode a winner on her first racecourse appearance at Salisbury.
Richard Hannon and Archie Watson have also played pivotal roles in helping her up the ladder.
Doyle became Britain’s winning-most female jockey in a calendar year when accumulating 116 victories in 2019 and was also part of the girls’ team that won the Shergar Cup.
In 2020, despite the pandemic, she rattled up 151 winners from 979 rides. Her other winner on Champions Day was the Alan King-trained Trueshan (above) in the Long Distance Cup.
Doyle picked up from where she left off in January 2021 by chalking up 16 more wins.
Expect to hear plenty more about her for many years to come.