Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand lit up QIPCO British Champions Day last year. The top jockeys, who announced their engagement on New Year’s Eve, both rode doubles on Ascot’s glittering end‐of‐season card.
That kind of success doesn’t happen by accident. To get to the super‐fit heights they demand of themselves they have very different regimes.
Tom, who won the Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes on Addeybb and the Balmoral Handicap on Njord at last year’s QIPCO British Champions Day, is a keen cyclist.
Hollie prefers the gym to hone the fitness levels that helped her win the Group 2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup on Trueshan and the Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint on Glen Shiel.
Despite having the hectic lifestyles of top jockeys, both manage to find plenty of time to work on their fitness.
Tom loves exercise. He was the first rider to pass the jockey’s fitness test at the British Racing School with a 100 per cent record. His favourite way of keeping fit is cycling.
He is often seen on his road bike pedaling around the countryside of Berkshire and Hampshire. Fellow jockeys Thor Hammer Hansen and Pierre‐Louis Jamin regularly join him on rides up to 50 miles at a time.
Tom also has a state‐of‐the‐art Wattbike at home. He even jumps on it for a blast early in the morning before going to ride out for trainers.
In Australia, he famously spent several hours a day on an exercise bike he had delivered to his hotel room when in a two‐week quarantine before riding Down Under in the spring.
Hollie sometimes joins Tom on bike rides but she’s much more likely to be found in the specialised gym at Oaksey House in Lambourn. Depending on riding commitments, she heads to the Injured Jockeys Fund’s rehabilitation and fitness centre several times a week.
Not having any issues with her weight, she was able to put on a stone of pure muscle after becoming a fully‐fledged professional a few years ago.
Driven on by Oaksey House’s specialist personal trainers, she keeps her incredible fitness levels up with a diet of high‐intensity exercises focused on strength and balance.
Rope training and weight lifting improves her upper body strength and jumping onto a box as high as her shoulders from a standing start keeps the leg muscles pumping.
Using a Swiss exercise ball helps with balance and regular spells in the plank position gives core strength. Then there are sessions on the Equicizer. The mechanical horse replicates race‐riding and reaches all the muscles needed to become a top jockey.
They are very different fitness regimes but both are clearly working.
Tom sits in third place behind Oisin Murphy and William Buick in the Flat Jockeys’ Championship. His biggest win this season came on Starman in the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket. Ed Walker’s speedster is entered in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint.
Hollie, who finished in the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award last December, notched up her second Group 1 victory when Trueshan landed the Goodwood Cup.
She could again team up with Alan King’s star stayer to defend their crown in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.
Whatever happens at this year’s QIPCO Champions Day, held on Saturday October 16, neither Hollie or Tom’s mounts will lack any fitness from the saddle, that’s for sure