x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Horse racing: Jockey James Doyle will race for Prince Khalid Abdullah

Last year's Duabi Duty Free winner will take over horses at Juddmonte Farms in England and will probably miss out on Dubai World Cup, writes Geoffrey Riddle.

Jockey James Doyle has been a regular in the UAE with 370 mounts the past two years. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Jockey James Doyle has been a regular in the UAE with 370 mounts the past two years. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

London// James Doyle's appointment as retained rider to Prince Khalid Abdullah has thrown his return to Dubai this winter into doubt.

Juddmonte Farms said yesterday that Doyle would be riding full-time all horses based in Britain for the Saudi Arabian prince's breeding and racing operation starting Sunday.

Doyle has ridden 370 mounts in the UAE during the past two seasons, and came away in 2012 with the Dubai Duty Free aboard Cityscape, owned by Abdullah.

Last season he rode at the opening meeting at Meydan Racecourse on November 8, but Abdullah's juvenile string require riding into December in Britain.

Over the past five seasons, Abdullah has had nearly 50 runners in November and December, and in the same time frame, he had 27 runners in March.

Doyle's appointment has resulted in a jockey change to Kingman, next year's English 2000 Guineas favourite, who was scheduled to be ridden by William Buick.

Kingman runs in Saturday's Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown, where Godolphin run Emirates Flyer and Music Theory.

"Prince Khalid wished to retain a jockey and he had been very pleased with the way James had been riding his horses," said Lord Grimthorpe, Abdullah's racing manager.

"James has certainly had a fantastic year so far."

Doyle can count 2013 as his annus mirabilis after he rode a treble at Royal Ascot in June. Carnival runner Belgian Bill, Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmook's Rizeena and Al Kazeem handed him the three winners.

Al Kazeem subsequently carried him to a further victory at the highest level in the Eclipse Stakes to add to their success in the Gold Cup at the Curragh in May. "I am thrilled for James Doyle's new appointment and it is a wonderful opportunity for him," said Roger Charlton, the trainer of Al Kazeem and Cityscape.

"Having won four Group 1 races for me recently, I am not surprised that an operation as successful as Juddmonte Farms have recognised his talents."


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