James Doyle: jockey handled warm conditions at Randwick with aplomb
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By AAP Racing/Matt Coughlan 9:13AM 14 JAN 2017
Australia: Godolphin jockey James Doyle has stamped his world class credentials with a four-timer at Randwick on Saturday.
Doyle has ridden 12 winners since arriving in Australia from England in late November to replace James McDonald after he was charged with a betting offence.
McDonald has subsequently been handed an 18-month disqualification, but Godolphin are yet to reveal whether Doyle will extend his stay past April.
Four days after being stood down by a doctor due to the heat at Canterbury, Doyle handled the warm conditions at Randwick with aplomb.
He put in a classy performance to guide Godolphin filly Raiment to victory in #TheRaces (1200m) Handicap, while stablemate Badajoz got the nod from the photo judge to win the Tab.com.au Handicap (1100m).
“I’m really excited for James,” Godolphin trainer John O’Shea said.
“You can see his qualities as an outstanding world-class rider and he’s showing his skills here today.”
Raiment’s victory was enough to convince O’Shea the filly could be a major player in the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes in April.
Badajoz ($ 3.60) had to hold off a spirited fightback from the Greg Hickman-trained Top Striker ($ 4.80) with Machinegun Jubs ($ 3.20 fav).
Winners spread around trainers
Doyle came to Randwick having never ridden a winner and left with a personal best of four during one-race meeting.
“Hopefully we’ve mastered this place or getting the hang of it,” Doyle said.
It wasn’t just Godolphin runners Doyle was getting home, outside stables provided two of his winning mounts.
Careless was trainer Mark Newnham’s first Saturday metropolitan winner, taking out the Schweppes Handicap (1400m), while the Kris Lees-trained Admiral Jello easily won the TAB Handicap (2400m).
“It’s tough being the outside coming in. All these trainers have their regular riders. That’s fully understandable,” Doyle said.
“A lot of the boys are up at the Magic Millions, so it’s nice to get a couple of outside rides and collect on them.”