Saturday, September 18, 2021

Hollie Doyle – The Heroine of 2020

For once, the normally “condescending cow” Karren Brady got it right in supporting the tremendous jockey Hollie Doyle to become BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020

“Appalling role model” Lady Brady of Knightsbridge CBE (AKA ‘Lazy Brady’ and ‘The Overpainted Aunt Sally’) can normally be relied upon on a Sunday to pen a toxic column for The Sun in which she savagely slams people she has utterly no knowledge of. Today, she actually, unpredictably, did something decent for a change and saluted the shortlisted for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020 nominee, jockey Hollie Doyle.


In an unusually pleasant opinion piece, Karren Brady remarked of 24-year-old Doyle, “[she] gives hope for women’s sport” and added of the ‘Female Frankie’:


“Hollie Doyle reminds us that something positive is happening with women’s sport. The playing field is levelling… [She] is an emblem of hope for all sportswomen… A symbol of positive change – of women succeeding and being taken seriously in sport. As positive omens for the year ahead go, I’ll take it.”


Hollie Doyle’s remarkable achievements in her “whirlwind” 2020 number:


  • Women’s British record holder for wins in a calendar year.
  • First Royal Ascot winner with Scarlet Dragon in the Duke of Edinburgh.
  • Winner of over £1.7 million in prize money in 2020.
  • Record-breaking first woman to win five races on a card at Windsor.
  • Broke her British record in October after 117th winner and is closing in on 150 wins this year in total.
  • First woman to win at the QIOCO British Champions Day at Ascot.


Speaking to Sportsmail, Doyle, herself, modestly remarked of her nomination alongside Lewis Hamilton and Tyson Fury and commented:


“I was quite amused by it – I just didn’t believe it – it’s crazy.”


“When you’re younger and you’re growing up you have these ambitions in your brain but this year when we were delayed with the whole season because of Covid I just wrote it off but I just can’t believe it really.”


“I just take it as it comes but I rode over 100 winners last year for the first time and I really wanted to back that up so it wasn’t a one off. “


“With the delay I thought whatever I do this year, however many winners I have is a bonus under the circumstances. It’s been pretty crazy, I never thought it would have been this good.”


“I don’t even see this for me personally. I hope to just represent the industry as a whole and I hope it can open doors and showcase the sport to a broader audience.”


“I just want to better myself every year and I realise how hard it’s going to be after this year. But I don’t want this to be the best year of my life. I want to do better.”


Elsewhere, trainer William Haggas summed up the mood of the nation most accurately with a simple sentence: “There is none who deserves this success more than Hollie.”


#VoteHollie by telephone and online tonight, BBC One from 8pm onwards.


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Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.



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