Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle is back in Italy after Classic glory last weekend and looks ahead to her Day One rides at Royal Ascot.
PACE PRESSURE A WORRY FOR OUTBOX
Hambleton Racing’s big-earning globetrotter OUTBOX faces some strong opposition in the Listed Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup Stakes (3.05) at York on Saturday.
The Archie Watson-trained eight-year-old has been a star for his syndicate owners, winning over £600,000 at home and abroad and looks in good shape for only his second visit to the Knavesmire.
He found only the classy Hukum too good in the Group 3 John Smith’s Silver Cup two summers ago, so if he can build on a better effort at Newmarket in the Jockey Club Stakes last month he may gain some more ‘black type’ on a track that suits. John and Thady Gosden’s Israr looks the one we all have to beat following an encouraging reappearance in a higher grade at Newbury.
Outbox loves to dictate but I’ve a feeling we may get some pace pressure from Quickthorn who showed his liking for the track when winning the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup last year.
BACK TO ITALY ON SUNDAY AFTER CLASSIC SUCCESS
Just a week after my success in the Italian Oaks, I’m flying back out to Italy to ride a promising German horse in a Group 3 over 1m at the San Siro in Milan on Sunday.
WAY TO DUBAI, who is trained by Andreas Wohler for top owner Jaber Abdullah, ran well in Listed company last year after making a winning debut at Hoppegarten.
Former top jockey Bruce Raymond, who is the racing manager for Jaber Abdullah, got in touch to offer me the ride on the son of Holy Roman Emperor who steps up in class on his seasonal reappearance.
SECOND CLASSIC WIN MEANS SUCH A LOT
The Italian Oaks may have been downgraded to a Group 2 but it’s still a Classic, so to win it last weekend on the home-based SHAVASANA was a proud moment for me.
I’ve been working hard to establish myself on the international stage in the past couple of years with notable rides in France, Hong Kong and Japan, so putting the Oaks d’Italia on my CV means such a lot.
I linked up with top trainer Stefano Botti and high-profile owner Yoshida Katsumi at the San Siro where I made all the running on the daughter of Gleneagles to add to last summer’s French Oaks triumph on Nashwa.
Shavasana coped well with the step up in distance to keep her unbeaten record intact and it’ll be fascinating to see how she gets on against some smart fillies in France for her new trainer Francis Graffard.
EXCITED BY WATSON DUO AT ASCOT
It would be amazing if lightning struck twice for me in the big opening two-year-old race at Royal Ascot, live on Sky Sports Racing, on Tuesday, the Group 2 Coventry Stakes.
Twelve months ago I won it on Archie Watson’s brilliant Bradsell in the colours of Bahrain-based Victorious Racing, and trainer and owner are represented again by the promising ARMY ETHOS.
I won on this colt on his debut at Ayr and he’s really woken up for that experience.
He was a bit sleepy up until that day but has become a proper racehorse now. He’s pleased me in his homework so hopefully he can take the necessary step forward in what is a notoriously-difficult race to win.
I’m also excited by the prospect of riding Archie’s AADDEEY in the 1m 6f Copper Horse Handicap on Tuesday, a race I won two years ago on my boss Imad Alsagar’s Amtiyaz.
Archie’s wife Brodie (Hampson) has been riding this fellow at home and I can’t believe how much he’s come on since I won on him at Ripon in April on his stable debut.
He’s really come in his coat and tightened up so I’m expecting a big run from Hambleton Racing’s gelding, who has some back class and shouldn’t mind the step up in trip.