WE have witnessed history being made by Rachael Blackmore over the jumps.
Now it’s over to you, Hollie Doyle.
The Flat ace will bid to become the first woman to ride a British Classic winner in the Oaks.
It’s a feat her husband Tom Marquand believes would be “one of the biggest things a female jockey has achieved”.
And in Nashwa, the second favourite for the fillies’ Classic, she has a genuine contender to smash Flat racing’s ‘glass ceiling’.
Only a handful of female riders have even ridden in British Classics, let alone won one.
Matt Chapman’s ITV Racing Tips
1.45 Haydock – Dragon Symbol NAP
2.20 Haydock – Mahrajaan
2.55 Haydock – Sea La Rosa
3.30 Haydock – Laneqash
2.05 Beverley – Distinguished Lady
2.40 Beverley – Percy's Lad
3.15 Beverley – Rogue Spirit
3.45 Chester – Boardsman
Doyle finished ninth in the race last year aboard Sherbet Lemon, a 28-1 shot.
That’s the best placing women have managed to achieve in the Epsom Classics.
In 1996 trail-blazer Alex Greaves got the ball rolling for the girls aboard 500-1 Portuguese Lil in the 1,000 Guineas. She finished tenth.
She also rode the same horse in the Derby, starting at the same odds and finishing last.
Hayley Turner also picked up the Derby wooden spoon 16 years later on 25-1 Cavaleiro, before Ana O’Brien’s 66-1 The Anvil finished 17th of 18 in the 2017 Derby. Nashwa is a 4-1 shot.
The filly, trained by John and Thady Gosden, raced only once last season, finishing third in a novice at Newmarket.
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But she returned in impressive style at Haydock, bolting up by over six lengths. The daughter of Frankel followed up with a tasty Listed success at Newbury.
There is no doubt she is the best chance any female jockey has had in a British Classic.
Of all years, achieving the feat during this Platinum Jubilee Epsom spectacular would make a huge worldwide impact.
Marquand said: “The two things that haven’t been done by a female jockey are being champion and winning a Classic. This looks a real opportunity for Hollie to do so.
“Nashwa won really well at Newbury and Hollie has been an integral part of owner Imad Alsagar’s team for the last year and a half.
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“I know they have a great relationship and are really looking forward to it.”
Marquand added: “It’s massive for the sport that Hollie has come across a job like that and found the opportunity to be riding a leading contender in the Oaks.
“To be honest, I think everyone wants her to win — and I’m riding in the race, too. If I don’t win it I hope she does!”
The big danger to a Doyle party comes from showman Frankie Dettori, who partners the sizzling Oaks favourite in Emily Upjohn, also trained by the Gosdens.
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Emily Upjohn was impressive last time when bolting in at York in the Musidora, defeating Life Of Dreams by nearly six lengths.
She appears to have more speed than Nashwa, but naturally a combination of speed and stamina is the ideal scenario.
As for this weekend, it’s a busy one with ITV at Haydock, Chester and Beverley.
Dragon Symbol is the big star at Haydock in the Listed Achilles Stakes (1.45).
He suffered plenty of misfortune in 2021, losing out at Royal Ascot and banging his head against the door in countless Group 1s.
Over the winter he switched yards from Archie Watson to Roger Varian and was absolutely hopeless on his return at York on May 11.
Today he’s down in class and, while he might not have much scope, this is a gilt-edged opportunity — just like Hollie’s bid to make history in next week’s Oaks.
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