Hollie Doyle At The Double in Ascot’s Champions Sprint

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Glen Shiel and Hollie Doyle | PA Media

Not content to rest on her laurels, rider-of-the-moment Hollie Doyle claimed a career-best success when guiding last month’s G1 Haydock Sprint Cup runner-up Glen Shiel (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) to a dramatic success in Saturday’s Qipco British Champions Sprint S. at Ascot. Hambleton Racing Partnership’s veteran chestnut, who had previously claimed a first pattern-race triumph in The Curragh’s Aug. 8 G3 Phoenix Sprint S., broke like greased lightning from the gates and was in command under a tight hold until allowed a measure of rein at halfway. Looking certain to be swamped when a host of rivals threatened from all angles approaching the eighth pole, the 16-1 chance found Doyle at her maximum when fellow old stager and 2016 third Brando (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) gained an edge in the closing stages and rallied gamely in a ding-dong tussle to pluck a nose victory from the jaws of defeat in the final stride. Lael Stable’s One Master (GB) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) finished with her usual gusto to edge Art Power (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) for third.

“I didn’t think I’d won, so to have had the result we have was incredible and I’m in a state of shock right now,” said a delighted Doyle after securing a first triumph at the highest level. “We had a really good old battle with [G1 July Cup hero and eventual fifth] Oxted from the three-furlong pole and I thought I’d be doing well to hold on like I did, but he is such a game horse. He is incredible and has got quicker with age. When we first got him, he was running over 10 furlongs [for Andre Fabre] in France and didn’t show a whole lot of speed, but the further we dropped him back, the quicker he has got. This isn’t about me, it’s about [trainer] Archie Watson, who has campaigned this horse unbelievably and no one else would have won a Group 1 with this horse. It is a dream come true, a massive dream come true, especially on this horse and everyone in the yard adores him. My aim, at the start of the year, was to ride a Group winner and I always said a Group 1 one day, but I didn’t think it would come this year. I don’t get too carried away, but I’m a bit delusional as to what is going on at the moment as it has all been a bit of a whirlwind.”

Popular veteran Brando, contesting a fifth straight renewal and registering his best effort in this event, rolled back the years and provided a flashback of all his old sparkle in getting to within a pixel of springing an 80-1 shocker. Jockey Tom Eaves enjoyed mixed emotions, but was nonetheless delighted with the performance and said, “You are always gutted finishing second, but he has run a stormer of a race. It was a bob of the heads and I’m delighted, but gutted at the same time. He has been running okay, he ran well [when third in the rescheduled G3 Bengough S.] at York last Saturday and that probably put him right for this. York has never been his sort of track, but he likes it here on this big, stiff track. It is a great training performance.”

Glen Shiel, who is the lone pattern-race scorer for G3 Princess Elizabeth S. victress Gonfilia (Ger) (Big Shuffle), is a full-brother to the hitherto unraced 2-year-old filly Greta Hellstrom (GB) and a half to G3 Sirenia S. placegetter Signs In The Sand (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}) . Gonfilia is herself a full-sister to G3 Grosser Preis der Dortmunder Wirtschaft victor and G2 German 2000 Guineas second Gonlargo (Ger) as well as being kin to G1 Deutschland-Preis and G1 Preis von Europa heroine Gonbarda (Ger) (Lando {Ger}). Gonbarda, in turn, produced G1 Champion S. and G1 Lockinge S.-winning sire Farhh (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) as well as G3 Winter Hill S.-winning G1 Grosser Preis von Bayern runner-up Racing History (GB) (Pivotal {GB}). Glen Shiel’s third dam is G3 German 1000 Guineas heroine Grimpola (Ger) (Windwurf {Ger}), whose descendants include MG1SW G1 Irish Derby hero Fame and Glory (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) and MG1SW G1 1000 Guineas heroine Legatissimo (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}).

Saturday, Ascot, Britain
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS SPRINT S.-G1, £391,260, Ascot, 10-17, 3yo/up, 6fT, 1:16.74, sf.
1–GLEN SHIEL (GB), 128, g, 6, by Pivotal (GB)
1st Dam: Gonfilia (Ger) (GSW-Eng & SW-Fr, $359,409), by Big Shuffle
2nd Dam: Gonfalon (GB), by Slip Anchor (GB)
3rd Dam: Grimpola (Ger), by Windwurf (Ger)
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. (£45,000 5yo ’19 GOFSPR). O-Hambleton Racing XXXVI & Partner; B-Darley (GB); T-Archie Watson; J-Hollie Doyle. £221,884. Lifetime Record: GSW-Ire, SW & GSP-Fr, 27-8-7-1, $580,169. *1/2 to Signs In The Sand (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}), GSP-Eng. Werk Nick Rating: F. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Brando (GB), 128, g, 8, Pivotal (GB)–Argent du Bois, by Silver Hawk. (52,000gns Ylg ’13 TAOCT; 115,000gns 2yo ’14 TATBRE). O-Mrs Angie Bailey; B-Car Colston Hall Stud (GB); T-Kevin Ryan. £84,121.
3–One Master (GB), 125, m, 6, Fastnet Rock (Aus)–Enticing (Ire), by Pivotal (GB). O-Lael Stable; B-Lael Stables (GB); T-William Haggas. £42,100.
Margins: NO, HF, HF. Odds: 16.00, 80.00, 5.50.
Also Ran: Art Power (Ire), Oxted (GB), Onassis (Ire), Lope Y Fernandez (Ire), Dream of Dreams (Ire), Happy Power (Ire), Sonaiyla (Ire), Speak In Colours (GB), The Tin Man (GB), Chiefofchiefs (GB), Starman (GB), Jouska (GB), Cape Byron (GB). Scratched: Dubai Station (GB). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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