Jockey misses hat-trick even as Ffrench also clinches two wins at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
Doyle dazzles for Manuel
ABU DHABI // James Doyle and Royston Ffrench celebrated the New Year with splendid doubles at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday night.
Doyle came with a strong late run to win the opener on Waqqad by head from Shajaret Eddor Al Reef, ridden by Jesus Rosales, and took the next more convincingly aboard BH Almozieg from Kana'an (Harry Bentley) by one-and-a-half lengths, both trained by Tony Manuel.
Doyle was later denied of a hat-trick when Naseem Al Reef under Gerald Avranche held on to win the fourth race in a photo finish.
"It was a grand start for the new year," said Doyle. "The first one was hard work but he did well to win though.
"The second one did nicely. He broke well and held on to a good position throughout the race. I was quietly confident. It was just a case of getting a split."
Doyle was also unfortunate when his mount Al Gharaaf W'Rsan had to be withdrawn for refusing to be loaded.
Ffrench took the Wathba Stud Farm Cup on Tresor De Faust, the first winner for trainer Mohammed Ramadan in more than 18 months, and rounded off the seven-race card by claiming the solitary thoroughbred prize on Garbah trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe.
Ffrench scored contrasting style victories. He had to go flat out on his first winner and then turned the final race into a procession. The two winners took his tally to 20 winners, four behind the leader Tadhg O'Shea. Doyle has 17 and is in third in the jockey's championship.
While Doyle and Ffrench celebrated a new year double, the spotlight was on Thakif, a three-year-old chestnut colt in the silks of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, an impressive winner of the third race.
Bentley riding the Mahabb colt did not have to overexert himself to win the Maiden race run over the mile distance.
Thakif had not won from his five starts in France but was the highest rated at 96 having placed fourth Group 1 and Group 3 races.