Jockey Doyle gets Royal seal of approval

Al Kazeem sets off dream treble for English jockey

Those who subscribe to the theory that confidence breeds success can use James Doyle’s achievements on day two of Royal Ascot as a masterful template.

Clearly inspired by his victory aboard Al Kazeem in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, the 25-year-old rider went on to secure two more winners on the most decorated stage in British flat racing.

His accomplishments were even more impressive given he had never previously tasted success at the meeting.

Doyle said: “This is what you grow up and aspire to achieve in racing. It’s fantastic, and very difficult to put into words. I thought I’d have one winner, but to have three is absolutely amazing.”


Al Kazeem got up in the shadow of the post to deny Mukhadram in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

The race was billed as a match up between Al Kazeem and Camelot, but Aidan O’Brien’s dual Derby winner was ultimately disappointing after travelling strongly for much of the journey.

Paul Hanagan gave William Haggas’s Mukhadram a bold sight from the front, kicking a good few lengths clear and at one stage appearing like he may hold on.

But Doyle got stuck into Roger Charlton’s stable star and the 11 to 4 chance was on top just before the line.

The Fugue ran a blinder on her first run of the year back in third.

Doyle said: “I thought Paul Hanagan gave his horse a fantastic ride, he got his fractions right. He got a couple of lengths on me turning in and I had to make them up.

“He’s a very tough horse and I’m lucky to be sat on him

“It’s magical really, to get a Royal Ascot winner. It leaves you speechless, it’s what it is all about. Hard work pays off and when it does it’s fantastic.”

Forty minutes after Al Kazeem had landed the feature race, the rider then helped rugged handicapper Belgian Bill cause a 33 to 1 stir in the Royal Hunt Cup.

Doyle manfully resisted the temptation to tack across towards the supposedly favoured stands side and kept fellow outsider Premio Loco at bay by three-quarters of a length.

Trainer George Baker said: “I was a bit nervous when they split into two groups, but about halfway I started to fancy our chances.

“He’s been a fantastic standard-bearer for the yard and, though it’s a cliche, he deserved to win a big one like this.”

Even better was to come in the next race when the speedy Rizeena (6 to 1) was delivered with cool precision in the Queen Mary Stakes.

The Clive Brittain-trained filly flashed two lengths clear at the line to deny striking American runner Sweet Emma Rose.

Brittain said: “She’s progressing so much that I think she’ll run a big race in the Moyglare (Curragh, September 1st).”

Duntle, meanwhile, could attempt settle an old score back in Group One company following her plucky success in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes.

David Wachman’s vastly progressive filly was disqualified and demoted into second place on her sole try at the top level, when she was first past the post in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last September.

The four-year-old (100 to 30) has since boosted her profile with a Group Three victory on her return to the fray in May and is to set sail for even greater riches.

Newmarket’s Falmouth Stakes and the Prix Jaques le Marois at Deauville in France could now be on the horizon for a horse who was visiting the Royal Ascot winner’s enclosure for a second successive year

Wachman had stressed that the daughter of Danehill Dancer is a reluctant leader, but jockey Wayne Lordan had no choice to put her to the front a furlong and a half out, such was the fluency with which she was travelling.

Most expected early pacemaker Ladys First to give up the ghost once Duntle bustled clear, but Richard Fahey’s filly showed plenty of heart to get to within half a length of the winner and book a possible trip to America for the Beverly D Stakes.

The Michael Stoute-trained Dank also showed up particularly well and was another head away in third spot.

Wachman said: “She doesn’t win by far, but she does enough. The Matron Stakes is in the past, it’s history, now we’ll try to win another Group One.

“The Falmouth is maybe where we are heading now, there’s a race in France and that is also on the agenda.”

Compatriot Aidan O'Brien was earlier on the scoresheet for the third time this week when Gale Force Ten claimed the Jersey Stakes.

The Oasis Dream colt was unsurprisingly a warm order for this Group Three over seven furlongs following his second-placed finish in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last month.

However, it fleetingly looked like the 9 to 2 favourite was in a spot of bother once Montiridge nosed ahead inside the final 100 yards.

But Joseph O’Brien’s partner, who had been in the lead two and a half furlongs from home, rallied gamely once overtaken to score by a head.

O’Brien snr, who won the Jersey last year with Ishvana, was quick to highlight Gale Force Ten’s flexibility as being a major factor for what could be a potentially exciting summer.

He said: “Joseph said in an ideal world he would not want to be in front as long as that.

“He could step up to a mile or go back to six furlongs, which is unusual. Over six furlongs he would not want to be in front as long as that.

“He’s a hardy horse, a strong horse and loves that fast ground.”