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Record-breaking rider Hollie Doyle bids to strike Group One gold for the first time aboard Dame Malliot in the 58th Preis von Europa in Germany on Saturday.
Doyle enjoyed a stellar campaign in 2019, riding 116 winners – more in a calendar year than any other female jockey and becoming only the third woman to reach a century after Hayley Turner and Josephine Gordon.
Her burgeoning career has continued to go from strength to strength this year, with a first Royal Ascot success aboard Scarlet Dragon in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes followed by a first Group-race win aboard Ed Vauaghan’s Dame Malliot in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes.
More recently Doyle was signed up as retained rider for leading owner Imad Al Sagar – and just last weekend put the seal on the new partnership by steering Extra Elusive to a Group Three triumph in the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock.
Seven days on, she will be in action at Cologne as she aims to open her account at the highest level.
Doyle said: “I’m not really nervous, I’ll just ride it like a normal race really.
“I don’t doubt her ability – she stays, she goes on most ground and I think she’s got a great chance.
“Obviously it’s a bit unfortunate we’re bumping into a multiple Group One winner in Barney Roy, but I think he’s got a few hurdles to overcome stepping up in trip.
“The ground is described as good, but I think it will ride a bit slower which might test him out further. I’m really hopeful.”
Doyle added: “Ed didn’t expect a performance like that first time out so hopefully she’s progressed, she was very fresh first time.
“I think she’s got a great chance, if we’re ever going to win a Group One hopefully it will be on Saturday, but you never know.
“I was a bit worried when I woke to the news of the quarantine (which affects France but not Germany) on Friday, but thankfully we avoid that.”
Dame Malliot carries the colours of leading owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer, who would love to provide Doyle with her first top-level success.
He said: “We’re very much looking forward to it. It’s a long way to go, but it is a Group One and if we could win a Group One with this filly it would be very exciting.
“I would be thrilled to give Hollie her first Group One winner – wouldn’t it be wonderful? Let’s hope she can do it.”
Dame Malliot is one of two British-trained contenders in a field of seven runners along with Charlie Appleby’s Barney Roy, who will be ridden by William Buick.
The latter is bidding for back-to-back Group One wins in Germany following his triumph in the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis three weeks ago.