Dream weekend for Doyle

Dream weekend for Doyle
Dream weekend for Doyle
Sky Sports Racing News

James Doyle is about to experience the kind of weekend most jockeys can only dream about.

If having a first ride in a Classic on a fancied runner was not enough, he will then make a flying visit across the world to Hong Kong for another high-profile race.

That is the hectic and exciting schedule awaiting the 23-year-old. It promises to be the busiest, and potentially the biggest, couple of days of his life.

Doyle’s itinerary consists of the ride on Top Offer in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday, and then Cityscape in the BMW Champions Mile at Sha Tin a day later.

It sounds fantastic, but a lot rests upon his young shoulders as he teams up with the two talented performers trained by Roger Charlton and owned by Khalid Abdullah.

It is something just a few months ago he could not have thought possible, but Doyle has been thrust into the limelight due to stable jockey Steve Drowne’s illness

Doyle is trying to keep his feet firmly on the ground and his balanced view on his weekend of destiny is probably helped by the fact he has a racing background.

His mum Jacqueline is a former trainer and is now his agent, while sister Sophie is an apprentice on the Flat.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s my first ride in the Classics, I’m very excited,” he said.

“His (Top Offer) preparation has been good with no interruptions, so I’m very hopeful.

“He’s drawn nine, bang in the centre. That wouldn’t be a worry at all and it gives us options.

“The ground’s not ideal, but there’s nothing you can do about that.

“He didn’t run in the Greenham, more because we didn’t want to give him a hard race a couple of weeks before the Guineas.

“That was more the reason than just the ground. Fingers crossed.”

Time is tight, with Doyle and the rest of the connections flying straight after the colts’ Classic to pick up 6.20pm flight from Heathrow and arrive in Hong Kong for the race at 4.35pm local time on Sunday.

“It all has to run smoothly. Hopefully the weather will be OK and we’ll be able to take off from Newmarket all right,” he said.

Doyle already owes Cityscape plenty as he gave him his greatest triumph to date, in the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan five weeks ago.

“Cityscape has travelled well, he’s eaten up and everything,” he said.

“I’ve been speaking to’Mr Charlton and he says the horse is fine and has settled in well there. He’s taken his preparations well.

“We’re drawn seven of 14 and we couldn’t grumble at that, to be honest.

“He gave’me my biggest win of my career by far in Dubai. It’s still trying to sink in. It was a fantastic performance. It all went to plan and he demolished a world-class field.

“It’s amazing – he’s six years of age and he’s definitely the horse to beat.

“We go there fairly hopeful. He’s beaten quite a few of the runners before in Dubai, so he’s got to be a leading contender, I’d have thought.

“I’ve never been to Hong Kong before and throughout this week I’ve been gathering information from different jockeys who have been there like Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore.”

Doyle has to pinch himself at the way fortune has favoured him so far this year, but spares a thought for Drowne.

“It’s never nice to gain from someone else’s misfortune,” he said.

“You have to get on with it and try to make the most of your opportunities when you get the chance.

“They don’t come along too often.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It could be a big weekend.”

View the original article at Sky Sports Horse Racing News

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