The Oaks: Hollie Doyle hoping to become first female winner of fillies' Classic at Epsom

Hollie Doyle
Hollie Doyle will be on board the Archie Watson-trained Sherbet Lemon in Friday's Oaks at Epsom
Cazoo Derby Festival
Dates: 4-5 June Venue: Epsom Racecourse Big race times: 16:30 BST
Friday: The Oaks; Saturday: The Derby Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio 5 live

Jockey Hollie Doyle says victory in the Oaks would be a "dream come true" as she aims to become the first female to win the fillies' Classic.

Doyle, who will be on board Sherbet Lemon at Epsom, is keen to emulate the recent success of fellow jockeys Rachael Blackmore and Bryony Frost.

"It would be amazing and definitely the next step up," said Doyle.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Santa Barbara is the favourite among a 14-strong field for Friday's race.

The Camelot filly, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore, made a big impression when winning on her racecourse debut at the Curragh in September and came fourth in last month's 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Frankie Dettori will ride second favourite Snowfall for trainer O'Brien, with three other stable companions, Divinely, Willow and La Joconde, also among the field.

Save A Forest, who finished second behind Sherbet Lemon in the Lingfield Oaks Trial last month, is one of three entries for Roger Varian along with Teona and Cheshire Oaks runner-up Zeyaadah.

The Hugo Palmer-trained Ocean Road, who finished third at Lingfield, will be ridden by Irish Champion jockey Oisin Murphy.

'I don't ever want to take my foot off the pedal'

In what has been something of a breakthrough 12 months for female jockeys, Doyle has celebrated both a first Royal Ascot success and Group One victory aboard Glen Shiel back at the Berkshire track in October.

She also became the first female rider in Britain to win five races at a single meeting at Windsor, before finishing third in the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year.

The 24-year-old is now taking inspiration from the achievements of Blackmore, who this year became the first female rider to win the Grand National and Champion Hurdle as well take the leading jockey honours at the Cheltenham Festival, and Frost, who was the first female winner of the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.

"When other females in racing achieve things like Rachael and Bryony, it makes you believe that these sorts of things are possible," she said.

"The aim at the start of the year was to continue to ride plenty of winners but at the same time to try and get some good rides in good races. To get a ride in the Oaks is great. It would be the biggest winner of my career.

"I'm never happy or comfortable in my position as I'm always worried that I'm going to have a quiet time or something. That's why I don't ever want to take my foot off the pedal."

Speaking to BBC Sport, Doyle added: "For every jockey, it is a dream to ride a Classic so if I can win the Oaks it will be a dream come true, but I will need a lot of luck.

"I just want to achieve the best I can to my ability, keep things going forward and hopefully inspire other people to prove that it can be done."

The Oaks runners and riders

Name, trainer, jockey

Divinely (Aidan O'Brien/Seamie Heffernan)

Dubai Fountain (Mark Johnston/Franny Norton)

La Joconde (Aidan O'Brien/Wlliam Buick)

Mystery Angel (George Boughey/Ben Curtis)

Ocean Road (Hugo Palmer/Oisin Murphy)

Saffron Beach (Jane Chapple-Hyam/Adam Kirby)

Santa Barbara (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)

Save A Forest (Roger Varian/Callum Shepherd)

Sherbet Lemon (Archie Watson/Hollie Doyle)

Snowfall (Aidan O'Brien/Frankie Dettori_

Technique (Martyn Meade/Sean Levey)

Teona (Roger Varian/David Egan)

Willow (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan)

Zeyaadah (Roger Varian/Jim Crowley)

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