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Nicola Currie's fierce determination to excel in her sport shines through at the mention of Royal Ascot 2021.

The proud Scot came close to becoming the first female jockey in 32 years to bag a winner at the world famous meeting.

Two seasons ago her horse Raising Sand was unluckily denied a clear run in the Royal Hunt Cup.

Crossing the line in third, Currie felt a range of emotions, having hoped to end the long wait for women in the saddle there.

"I was devastated. We were so close but so far," she said.

"I really wanted to get the win for the female jockeys. Myself, Hayley (Turner) and Hollie (Doyle) had a pep talk beforehand and we knew one of us could do it that week.

"Raising Sand ran a massive race."

Two days on and Turner achieved what the weighing room trio had set out to do, when Thanks Be took the Sandringham Stakes.

Nicola Currie is dreaming of her first Royal Ascot winner, after coming close to achieving the dream result in 2019
(Image: Getty)

Female jockeys had 14 rides at the top fixture that year, which rose to 27 in 2020 on the Great British Racing figures.

Doyle, one of the most recognisable faces in the sport, celebrated her first success there 12 months ago.

And Currie has strong claims of joining her in the record books, thanks to a link-up with rising star trainer George Boughey.

She rides Navello in the Norfolk Stakes on Thursday and then Albany Stakes runner Cachet 24 hours on.

Boughey's stable, enjoying a fine strike rate with the juveniles, head into Ascot on the crest of a wave, following Mystery Angel's second place in the Cazoo Oaks.

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Driving to Chepstow for one ride, Currie can hardly wait to get back on the big stage to try and achieve that dream result.

"It's very exciting to be going into Royal Ascot with two live chances," she said.

"All jockeys want to be there. It's everything you work towards.

"Cachet won by five-and-a-half lengths on debut and she has really improved since.

"She's on faster ground now and we will be positive from the front end, as we know she will stay further.

"Navello I've won three on, so I've got to know him very well.

Currie winning on Navello at Chester
(Image: PA)

"He knows his job and is versatile tactically. The going should be on our side as he likes to skip across the top.

"George is proving himself in the bigger races and I know these two will be ready on the day. I'm very confident riding for him."

With a career best 81 winners on the board in 2018, the former champion all-weather apprentice set her sights on the overall record for a female jockey.

But three days after Raising Sand gave her biggest career success at Ascot's 2019 King George meeting, her progress was halted by injury.

Currie admits her career became a bit of a rollercoaster, with dips in form – but she is riding high again this season with the help of her new agent Gavin Horne.

Currie was aboard Raising Sand (right) when he finished third at Royal Ascot 2019
(Image: Getty)

"I didn't want to be a jockey riding to make a living," she said.

"The quiet spells take it out of you. That's racing – there are always plenty of ups and downs. You lose more than you win.

"I had to try and stay positive and hope it came back in my favour.

"There was no point giving in. I knew in my head that I love my job, as tough as it gets. I had to give it everything."

At current pace, Currie is on-course to surpass her most recent seasonal tally.

Her free time this week will be spent plotting a path to victory at The Queen's favourite meeting.

"You have to go through the runners and build up a picture of the race in your head," Currie added.

"I think both my rides can't be far away at the finish.

"If we can get a win, it would mean absolutely everything."