HORSE racing star Hollie Doyle finally got the win she had dreamt about as she took her first Royal Ascot victory.

The 23-year-old flat race jockey grew up in Ivington, where her family still live, and recorded a women's record of 116 race wins last year.

However, a win at Royal Ascot had eluded her, that was until Friday in the 4.40pm Duke of Edinburgh Handicap Stakes.

Riding 33/1 shot Scarlet Dragon a late charge in the final half-furlong saw Doyle pass the two leaders to clinch a memorable victory.


"Scarlet Dragon is a strong old traveller, and you need that horse underneath you to do those kind of manoeuvres, especially at this track, so I was lucky," said Doyle.

"I know him very well - I won the Old Rowley Cup (back in October, 2016) on him, and I had to sit and suffer that day, but when he gets those gaps, he really flies through them.

"This means a huge amount to me. You walk into Ascot every year with really high hopes, and try to picture in your head what it's like to ride a winner here, but it is very hard to come across winners, as I have learnt.

"This today was amazing for me. It is definitely the icing on the cake. I have got a lot of people to thank for my success recently; I can't really put into words what it means."

Despite the break in racing due to Covid-19, Doyle has already won 50 races this year with eight of those coming in 14 days once the racing re-started earlier this month.

As she keeps clocking up victories Doyle says her main aim is to improve on the previous year.

"My aim is to improve every year on what I achieved the year before, ability-wise, so I have luckily been getting the opportunities and I have improved as a rider, but I have got a long, long way to go," added Doyle.

"That is something I really look forward to because you can never stop improving or learning, so that is what it is for me from now on.

"When I was a 5lb claimer at Richard Hannon's, Mr (Henry) Ponsonby, who owns Scarlet Dragon, had a few in training there and he used to put me up on his horses, and I luckily got on Scarlet Dragon when Eve Johnson Houghton trained him and won the Old Rowley Cup.

"That just led on to more opportunities because he has horses in training with other trainers. He had First Mohican who was my first Glorious Goodwood ride. Little things like that help you get to the next level, and it is weird that I have done it today on this horse.

"It was really important that I got that Royal Ascot winner. I mean it is important for any jockey out there, it is just a monkey off my back. I am very grateful.

"It was a great training performance from Mr King as well, as this horse had lost his way a little bit on the flat, I suppose you could say, but to run like that off a lay off takes some doing.

"For once in my life, I have beaten Tom [Marquand, her boyfriend] to it!"