where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-08-12 20:29:53  
The girls rule at Shergar Cup

Hollie Doyle's appearance at Ascot held more than mere amusement for her. Echoing her competitive spirit, she declared to ITV Racing after her initial victory, "It's not the taking part that counts for me, it's the winning!" And indeed, she demonstrated just that, hoisting the coveted Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle, a first-time accomplishment for her.

Participating in five races, Doyle amassed points with each outing, with a highlight being her remarkable 23-1 double. A triumph astride Jessica Harrington's The Very Man in the Stayers race was followed by a hard-fought conquest astride Regal Empire in the Classic under James Tate's training.

Curiously, it wasn't until the climactic Sprint that the destiny of the Silver Saddle came to fruition. A fourth-place finish atop Washington Heights solidified Doyle's reign as the premier rider in this year's Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.

Reflecting on her victory, Doyle expressed, "Winning the Silver Saddle for the first time is truly gratifying. Over the years, the girls' team has displayed remarkable performances, and with a strong book of rides today, we showcased exceptional teamwork."

Appreciating the Ascot crowd's enthusiastic support, Doyle commended the lively ambiance at the event. "The atmosphere here is exceptional – a laid-back vibe that permeates the track. The Shergar Cup has certainly earned its place on the calendar. It's a fantastic day for young enthusiasts, and it's evident that many regulars return annually. Ascot has orchestrated a splendid event."

Her outstanding double on Saturday propelled Doyle's seasonal win tally to 56, a mere three short of her husband Tom Marquand, who currently ranks second in the Flat jockeys' championship, trailing only behind William Buick.

Remaining modest yet ambitious, the 26-year-old is hopeful her stellar performance continues. "My season has been remarkable thus far, but there's still a long journey ahead. I'll keep pushing forward, giving it my all. I'm immensely pleased with the current trajectory."

This year's victory contributes to the Ladies team's impressive 50 percent success rate in the Shergar Cup over the past eight years, a legacy forged through victories in 2015, 2018, and 2021. 

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