Why Hollie Doyle should win SPOTY: Female jockey’s record-breaking 2020 and only woman on shortlist

Why Hollie Doyle should win SPOTY: Female jockey’s record-breaking 2020 and only woman on shortlist

December 17, 2020

POCKET rocket Hollie Doyle has done what no other jockey has achieved since AP McCoy.

That in itself is deserving of a medal.

The smiley 24-year-old is the first jockey to be nominated for the prestigious SPOTY awards since 20-time champ McCoy in 2013.

But why should anyone care?

Some have moaned the awards should not even take place after a topsy-turvy year for sport.

Some knuckle-draggers complained she’s only on the shortlist as she is female.

Even boxing favourite and nominated Tyson Fury wants no part of the ceremony this year.

But what Doyle has achieved this chaotic year should reach out beyond racing’s bubble and into the wider public.

In no time at all, Doyle has become a flag-bearer for the sport.

Frankie Dettori will always stand head and shoulders above the weighing room on the personality front.

But from a shy, quiet teenager, Doyle has smashed her way to one of the best riders there is on the circuit.

Standing at just five foot and eight stone, Doyle is all muscle. Years of dedication have paid off in the last couple of seasons.

No-longer is the bone-of-contention term ‘female-jockey’ used in reference to Doyle. She’s simply one of the best around.

Only one jockey has ridden more winners than her in 2020. Ryan Moore, Oisin Murphy and Dettori all trail in her wake.

SPOTY Latest Odds


Lewis Hamilton 2-7

Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-2

Tyson Fury 12-1

Jordan Henderson 12-1

Hollie Doyle 14-1

Stuart Broad 125-1


She rode a 899-1 five-timer in a single afternoon at Windsor and has travelled the world, competing and winning in Hong-Kong, France and America.

Doyle tasted her first Royal Ascot success, then backed that up with a huge big-race double on QIPCO British Champions Day that included her first Group 1.

To anyone outside the bubble, that’s like winning an FA Cup, a Six Nations or a PGA Tour event.

She is your Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year, your SJA and HWPA Sportswoman of the Year and now a SPOTY nominee.

And unlike Lewis Hamilton, she doesn’t rely on being on the fastest machine in the race.

Unlike Jordan Henderson and Stuart Broad she doesn’t have ten teammates.

Doyle competes on her own, on a level-pegging with the boys – something racing doesn’t shout enough about.

From humble beginnings on the back of farm animals, ponies and anything else with four legs, Doyle has deserved her moments in the sun.

Her romance with Tom Marquand has hogged many of the headlines, but Tom won’t mind one bit if his girlfriend outshines her come Sunday night.

Let’s hope he remembers to vote, as should the rest of you!


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