Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand were on Sunday basking in the glory of their momentous Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot.
Fresh from breaking her own British record for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey, at Kempton earlier in the week, Doyle enjoyed a double in the first two races in Berkshire.
After steering Alan King’s Trueshan to a wide-margin win in the Long Distance Cup, the 24-year-old claimed her first victory at Group One level as Archie Watson’s Glen Shiel clung on by a nose in the British Champions Sprint.
Not to be outdone, Doyle’s partner Marquand landed the final two events on a six-race card – aboard the William Haggas-trained Addeybb in the Champion Stakes and then Jessica Harrington’s Irish challenger Njord in the Balmoral Handicap.
With no Flat racing taking place in Britain on Sunday, both had time to reflect on an unforgettable afternoon.
Doyle said: “It was a great day. I would have been pleased just for all the horses to run well, so to ride two winners was brilliant.
“Trueshan was very impressive, and to get off to a start like that fills you with plenty of confidence for the rest of the day.
“I didn’t think Glen Shiel had won, so it was a big shock when he was called as the winner.”
Doyle is just as thrilled for Marquand as she is for herself, adding: “It was brilliant for Tom to win the Champion Stakes, especially with it being on Addeybb, who has been such a flagbearer for Tom. He’s a well-travelled horse, who is just getting better and better.
“We went out for dinner on the way back from racing, so that was nice.
“Today is the first day of no Flat racing in a very long time, so we’re just chilling out and taking advantage of that.”
Marquand won two Group Ones in Australia aboard Addeybb earlier in the year, and is full of praise for his trainer William Haggas after producing him to win a first top-level prize on home soil.
He said: “It was unbelievable. Addeybb has done wonders for my career already, so to go and win on Champions Day was incredible.
“William has had the race as a long-term goal, and it was a masterclass in training. Taking him to Australia, bringing him back and having this race as his target and pulling it off – it’s hard to comprehend, to be honest.
“It’s the Champion Stakes and one of the hardest races of the year to win. You had Magical and other champions in there. We knew we had a top horse in Addeybb – but you can’t say you’re confident, going up against horses like that.
“We were looking forward to running and hoped he would put his best foot forward, but in your heart of hearts you can’t help but think it’s near on mission impossible trying to beat horses like that. How lucky we are to come across a horse that can do what he’s done.”
Marquand admitted the the scale of both his and Doyle’s achievement is still sinking in.
He said: “After racing we got in the car and looked at each other and started laughing – it’s ridiculous really.
“You couldn’t have written the day any better. We are both so lucky to be in the position we’re in.
“Unintentionally, I guess, we’re pushing each other. We both have similar goals and things we want to achieve. We’ve got each other’s entire and full backing, which has to make a difference.
“We never get a day off together, so today couldn’t have fallen any better. We’re just chilling out and enjoying it.”