x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Horse racing: James Doyle breaks his Royal Ascot duck with a treble

After being winless at Royal Ascot, 25-year-old jockey James Doyle breaks his duck in a big way, taking three rides to the winner's circle on the meet's second day.

James Doyle gives Al Kazeem a thankful pat after riding the horse to the win in the Prince of Wales Stakes, one of three winners the jockey had on Day 2 at Royal Ascot.
James Doyle gives Al Kazeem a thankful pat after riding the horse to the win in the Prince of Wales Stakes, one of three winners the jockey had on Day 2 at Royal Ascot.

ASCOT, ENGLAND // Good things come to those who wait.

James Doyle had never ridden a winner at Royal Ascot but on Wednesday the 25-year-old jockey secured a treble, initiated by his perfectly timed ride aboard Al Kazeem in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes.

Having secured his first victory at the royal meeting, Doyle then rode Belgian Bill to win the 30-runner Royal Hunt Cup before following up in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes for juvenile fillies on Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum's Rizeena.

Doyle showcased an impressive range of riding skills as he made a statement on a grand stage.

"It is what you grow up dreaming and what you aspire to," he said.

"I thought this morning that I would definitely have one winner and I was very confident about Al Kazeem. Two maybe in Rizeena, but it couldn't have worked out better. I thought I had decent rides [Tuesday] and you come here full of hope and expectation and it then goes on to end in disappointment, so to win today is an amazing feeling.

"It is hard to take it all in."

Doyle's ride on Al Kazeem was textbook.

Paul Hanagan settled Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Mukhadram ahead of their 10 rivals and used the Ascot bend to slingshot his mount further into the lead in the three-furlong straight.

Al Kazeem had three lengths to make up two furlongs from home but Doyle rousted his willing partner and inside the final furlong the two horses vied to stretch their noses in front.

At the line, Al Kazeem prevailed by a head.

The Fugue was third for William Buick and John Gosden, beating Camelot in to fourth.

Red Cadeaux, the Dubai World Cup runner-up, was ninth of the 11 runners.

"I could see Paul getting away from me on the turn and had a bit of work to do but you have to believe in your horse; my confidence in him is amazing."

Hanagan said: "I just thought he deserved to win that. He fought back against a very good horse all the way up the straight. I couldn't have asked for more from him [Mukhadram].

"When I kicked I thought he had it won and that it would take a very good horse to beat me and that's what happened."

Doyle has ridden for the past two seasons at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, where he announced himself on the world stage with a win in the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan Racecourse last year.

He rode his first winner in 2005 and the following year secured his first three-victory day, but for all his natural talent in the saddle he owes a lot to Roger Charlton, Al Kazeem's trainer who gave him his big break.

"I thought James gave Al Kazeem a great ride," said Charlton, who now has eight Royal Ascot winners. "We have asked him big questions and he has delivered."

Al Kazeem could now head for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes back here next month before he is prepared for a tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, staged in Paris in October.

Doyle is without a ride in Thursday's feature race, the Ascot Gold Cup, in which Queen Elizabeth owns Estimate, the favourite.

The English monarch is seeking to add to her Royal Ascot tally of 21 winners after Estimate won the Queen's Vase 12 months ago.

However, 17 horses stand in the way, including Colour Vision, Godolphin's reigning champion.

Colour Vision has not won since and was a disappointing seventh in a Group 3 Gold Cup trial last month on good-to-soft going on his first start since last season.

According to Saeed bin Suroor, Colour Vision did not like the ground at Sandown three weeks ago and the trainer was looking forward to an improved performance in the Group 1 contest over two and a half miles.

"He was disappointing last time," Bin Suroor said of Colour Vision after Tawhid had finished third to Gale Force Ten in the Jersey Stakes yesterday. "We used a visor for him in his last piece of work and he worked really well.

"He does not want rain. He wants good-to-firm ground and the forecast is for rain, so we will see.

"We gave him a break after last year because it was a hard season for him and physically he looks a lot better now.

"It is a big race and there are some nice horses in the race but I think we will see a good run."

 

sports@thenational.ae

 

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