Hollie Doyle capped a memorable 2020 as she took third place behind Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at MediaCityUK in Salford.
It is a huge achievement for the record-breaking Doyle to go so close in the coveted prize from a shortlist of six from the world of sport. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson finished runner-up.
The racing industry’s campaign in getting behind Doyle’s bid helped raise her profile with the general public for an award that has only gone to racing once, when Sir Anthony McCoy won in 2010. Her third matches that achieved by Frankie Dettori in 1996.
It has been a remarkable 12 months for the 24-year-old, who broke her own best for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey before enjoying a Champions Day double at Ascot – including her first Group One aboard Glen Shiel in the British Champions Sprint.
Earlier in the campaign Doyle claimed her first Royal Ascot success on Scarlet Dragon and rode fives winners on a card at Windsor in August. She has since taken part at the Breeders’ Cup in America and became the first female to ride a winner in the Longines International Jockeys Championship in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago.
Doyle’s outstanding achievements had already been recognised with several awards – as the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year, the Sports Journalists’ Association Sportswoman of the Year and Flat Jockey of the Year at the HWPA Derby Awards.
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Hollie Doyle could find herself left speechless if she is crowned 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday.
It has been a remarkable 12 months for the rider, who broke her own record for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey before enjoying a Champions Day double at Ascot – including her first Group One aboard Glen Shiel in the British Champions Sprint.
Earlier in the campaign Doyle claimed her first Royal Ascot success on Scarlet Dragon, and has since taken part at the Breeders’ Cup in America, in Bahrain and just last week rode a winner in the Longines International Jockeys Championship in Hong Kong.
Before going up against the likes of Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton and cricket’s Stuart Broad, when the public votes for its favourite British sports star of the year, Doyle said: “It doesn’t get much bigger than the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, does it?
“It’s a massive, massive honour to be nominated. It’s pretty crazy, to be honest.
“I’d be gobsmacked if I won – I wouldn’t know how to react, I don’t think.”
The 24-year-old’s outstanding achievements have already been recognised with several awards – as the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year, the Sports Journalists’ Association Sportswoman of the Year and Flat Jockey of the Year at the HWPA Derby Awards.
Doyle, who has also received four nominations for next week’s Lesters Awards, is the first short-list contender for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year from the world of racing since Sir Anthony McCoy – the sport’s only winner to date in 2010, and also twice third, in 2002 and 2013.
She added: “I cannot believe how the year has gone. I kind of wrote it off when we were in lockdown and thought ‘any winners I get this year would be a bonus, and I won’t be beating my record from last year’.
“It’s been pretty mad, and I’m just humbled by everyone’s support and the way everyone has helped me out throughout the year.
“I loved riding in Hong Kong last week. It was one of the best places I’ve been to, and I’d really love to go back one day.”
Whatever happens on Sunday, Doyle will not be resting on her laurels.
She said: “I’m riding every day this week and I’ll be staying here for the winter.
“Things don’t really quieten down at all for me, but that’s not a bad thing.”
:: BBC Sports Personality of the Year is on BBC One from 8pm on December 20
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Hollie Doyle may be in line to crown her brilliant year with another major accolade after being named as a nominee for the 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Doyle joins a list which will contain six household names in all – including Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton and cricket’s Stuart Broad – who could win the prestigious award when the public votes for its favourite British sports star of the year on December 20.
The 24-year-old becomes the first nomination from the world of racing since Sir Anthony McCoy – the sport’s only winner of the award to date in 2010, and also twice third, in 2002 and 2013.
Doyle has already had an unforgettable year, most recently winning the coveted Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award last month.
Among her achievements over the past 11 months, Doyle broke her own record for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey when she reached 117 in October, finished fourth in this year’s race for the Flat jockeys’ championship – and rode five winners on the same card, at odds of 899-1 at Windsor in August.
She went on to pull off a brilliant Champions Day double at Ascot in that same month – including her first victory at Group One level as Glen Shiel clung on by a nose in the British Champions Sprint.
Doyle also claimed her first Royal Ascot win aboard Scarlet Dragon, and more recently was on her travels to ride at the Breeders’ Cup in America for the first time and in the Bahrain International Trophy.
On hearing she was on the BBC’s short-list, she said: “It is a huge privilege to be nominated for such an illustrious award.
“It’s hard to get my head around being nominated alongside the likes of Lewis Hamilton, but I’m really pleased that horse racing has been recognised alongside these sports.
“Racing can be in its own little bubble as such, so hopefully this might help to open the door to a wider audience.”
McCoy, who was also honoured with a BBC lifetime achievement award in 2015, added: “Hollie has got on with her job quietly, confidently, and successfully.
“She seems more interested in walking the walk than talking the talk.
“She lets her achievements do the talking, and there’s a lot to learn from Hollie. She keeps her head down, she works hard and understands the need to make herself better all the time.
“Honestly, I’m a little bit jealous of her – a thoroughly deserved nomination.”
Right on cue, Doyle celebrated with a treble on Wolverhampton’s Tuesday evening card.
After completing the feat with a last-to-first charge on David Evans’ 11-10 favourite Regal Eagle in division one of the Bombardier British-Hopped Amber Beer Handicap, she told Sky Sports Racing: “I got shuffled back a bit further than I’d have liked – but it worked out ideally in the end.
“I just sling-shotted him off the bend, and he’s really enjoyed it.
“He shot clear … you’d like to think he’d win a few more.”
Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan, boxer Tyson Fury and Liverpool and England footballer Jordan Henderson are the remaining Sports Personality contenders.
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