Glen Shiel: Hollie Doyle hails Champions Sprint hero after Archie Watson’s stable star is retired

Hollie Doyle has paid tribute to Glen Shiel after the horse who provided her
with a breakthrough Group One success was retired.

The pair combined to win the 2020 Champions Sprint on Champions Day at Ascot and it proved to be a seminal moment in Doyle’s career, which continues to go from strength to strength.

Trained by Archie Watson, the eight-year-old came within a length of repeating his success 12 months later when second to Creative Force and was also second in the Diamond Jubilee at the Royal meeting.

Doyle’s success aboard Glen Shiel at Ascot was her first Group One win

He has been winless in three starts so far this season and following a setback in training, the decision has been made to call time on his career.

“He’s a star and he is a horse I’ll also hold very close to my heart as he gave me my first Group One,” said Doyle.

“He owes nobody nothing and I’m just glad he’s going to have a happy retirement.

“He’s a horse who has performed consistently at the top level for the last two years.

“It was crazy how he went from being a good handicapper over a mile to being a Group One sprinter. They don’t usually get quicker with age, but he did his career the opposite way around.

“He loved Ascot, he tried so hard for you and that Group One, he only won because he has the heart of a lion. There’s a few pictures of him at home, anyway!”

He was also Watson’s first Group One winner and he said: “Glen Shiel has meant the world to everyone at Saxon Gate.

Glen Shiel an ‘unbelievably special’ horse

“He gave us our first Group One win at Ascot in 2020 and has been so tough and consistent in sprints at the highest level.

“He is the kindest horse and can now look forward to the long and happy retirement he deserves.”

Glen Shiel was bought by Hambleton Racing for a bargain £45,000 out of Andre Fabre’s yard in 2019 and provided their members with several memorable days.

Reflecting on his career, Hambleton Racing’s Simon Turner said: “Glen Shiel is an unbelievably special horse.

“He was the fiercest of competitors on the track and provided his owners with some very special moments. We’re incredibly proud of what he achieved and equally delighted he’ll now be able to enjoy his retirement.”

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