x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Jockey James Doyle still plans Dubai rides this winter

James Doyle downplayed worries that his assignment as Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia's retained jockey would curtail his career in Dubai, writes Geoffrey Riddle.

Though he is the No 1 retained jockey for Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, James Doyle plans to continue riding in Dubai. But a win aboard Rizeena may interfere if it means a Breeders’ Cup run.
Though he is the No 1 retained jockey for Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, James Doyle plans to continue riding in Dubai. But a win aboard Rizeena may interfere if it means a Breeders’ Cup run.

James Doyle has allayed concern that his new contract as the retained jockey for Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia would come at the expense of his riding career in Dubai.

Doyle has ridden in the UAE for the past two seasons, where he finished ninth in the jockeys' standings last season with 12 winners in 172 rides.

The announcement last week that the jockey, 25, would ride all of Abdullah's horses based in Britain brought on talk that it would curtail his career in Dubai as juveniles carry the famous white, green and pink silks well into December.

Abdullah has also had numerous early season runners in March for various trainers over the years.

Doyle confirmed that this would not be a problem for making the Dubai season that starts at Jebel Ali on November 1.

"My appointment won't affect Dubai and everything will run as before," Doyle said. "I'm hoping to come out as before.

"I won't be required for the winter runners.

"March is different, and I'll have to come back after Super Saturday and have to commute."

Doyle was recruited by Dhruba Selvaratnam to his Jebel Ali stables in 2011 as a replacement for William Buick, who ironically is the rider set to lose out the most by Doyle's appointment.

Buick is retained by John Gosden, who has had 222 runners in total for the Prince this season in Britain.

Doyle met with Selvaratnam last week to iron out all the issues, and the trainer was in no hurry to find a replacement for Doyle should he not make Jebel Ali's opening meeting.

"It is good to have him, and we will simply use the best jockeys available in his absence," he said.

Jebel Ali's meeting, and Sharjah the following day, clash with the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita, but at this stage it does not appear that the Prince has any horses for the Breeders' Cup, and none of his British string have won any of the Breeders' Cup Win-And-You're-In races, either.

Where there could be an issue is that Doyle was in such fine form over the weekend that he coaxed Rizeena to a commanding victory in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Doyle sat in the rear on Sheikh Rashid bin Damlook's filly and had the confidence to produce his mount inside the two-furlong pole to win going away from her six rivals.

The seven-furlong contest acts as a Win-and-You're-In race for the Juvenile Fillies' Turf at Santa Anita, and with trainer Clive Brittain a veteran at taking horses to America, Doyle probably has a few more conversations to have before arriving in the UAE.

 

sports@thenational.ae

 

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