Hollie Doyle crowned Sunday Times Sportswomen Of The Year 2020
- We bring you the news that Hollie Doyle has won the prestigious honour of Sunday Times Sportswomen Of The Year
- Doyle was included on the six-women shortlist including cyclists, triathletes and darts player Fallon Sherrock
- The 24-year-old became the first female jockey to ride a Group One winner in 2020
Hollie Doyle speaking after her Royal Ascot victory in 2020. (Getty)
British horse racing was thrust into the limelight this week, when it was announced that Hollie Doyle had been named Sunday Times Sportswomen Of The Year.
2020 was a stunning season for Hollie Doyle, who reached the 130-winners mark for the first time in her career. The 24-year-old celebrated a Royal Ascot winner with Scarlet Dragon, victory in the Long Distance Cup aboard Trushan, and a Grade Two win at Newmarket's July Meeting, scoring in the Princess Of Wales's Stakes with Dame Maillot.
Doyle's defining moment came in the Champions Sprint at Ascot in October, where she made all the running on 16/1 shot Glen Sheil, holding firm in the closing stages to become the first female jockey to ride a Group One winner on British soil.
"I'm blown away to have won the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award," A jubilant Doyle told the press on Thursday.
"It's been an unusual year in so many ways and I feel very grateful to have been able to do what I love day in, day out.
"Seeing my name compared to the previous winners of the award like Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Dame Kelly Holmes is pretty crazy and humbling."
Both Jessica Ennis-Hill and Kelly Holmes were part of the judging panel in 2020, along with other iconic female athletes like Tanni Grey-Thompson, Rebecca Addlington and Ama Agbeze.
The shortlist for this year's award included triathletes Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jessica Learmonth, cyclist Lizzie Deignan and darts player Fallon Sherrock. Bryony Frost was beaten to the top prize in 2019 by Dina Asher-Smith, but the judging panel decided that Doyle's name should be etched on the trophy in 2020.
While it's clearly a wonderful accolade for Doyle herself, it also recognises the stride British racing has made in promoting the strength and skill of female jockeys. Nicky Rust, outgoing Chief Executive of the BHA was also on hand to celebrate this magnificent achievement.
"This is wonderful news for Hollie and for British racing. We are all so proud of her and grateful for everything she is doing on behalf of the sport." Rust said.
"Hollie is a phenomenal horsewoman, a true professional and a terrific role model. The frightening thing about her is that she is only just getting started.
"There truly is no ceiling as to what she could achieve. We will all look forward to following her ongoing rise, perhaps one day to become our first female champion jockey. There is simply no reason why not."
William Hill makes Hollie Doyle their 10/1 fourth-favourite to be crown Champion Flat Jockey in 2021. Two-time defending champion, Oisin Murphy is the even-money favourite, ahead of William Buick and Doyle's other half, Tom Marquand.
*2021 Champion Flat Jockey betting with William Hill
Evens Oisin Murphy, 2/1 William Buick, 6/1 Tom Marquand, 10/1 Hollie Doyle, 12/1 Silvestre De Sousa, Ben Curtis, 33/1 Bar