While his main job is to ride winners for Sheikh Mohammed’s Australian racing concern, English jockey James Doyle is quickly gaining support from a variety of Sydney stables.
The 28-year-old has been flown in to ride for Godolphin while James McDonald is sidelined after being charged with a betting offence.
Doyle opened his account in style at his first Saturday meeting last week, riding a winning double for Godolphin which included the Listed ATC Cup on Malice at Rosehill.
Group One-winning rider turned trainer Peter Robl was the first stable outside Godolphin to enlist the Englishman’s talents last Saturday with Doyle riding Ninth Legion who was unplaced in the Festival Stakes.
Now others are coming on board, with Doyle picking up a handful of rides for other trainers at Canterbury’s Friday night meeting and Rosehill on Saturday.
James Cummings has Doyle on Lunar Rise in the TAB Handicap (1400m) while Matthew Smith has turned to him to ride Quantrill in the Tab.com.au Sprint (1200m) at Rosehill.
Before establishing himself in Sydney’s competitive racing scene, Smith spent time working for top stables in England and Ireland.
While Doyle’s stint is in its infancy, Smith believes he is showing the right signs he will be able to handle the steep learning curve of Australian racing on his fifth visit.
“Obviously from those other visits he’s learnt and come here with a mindset of ‘OK, now I know what’s got to be done’,” Smith said.
“He’s made a real good fist of it. He’s gone out there and got amongst it like our other boys do.”
Smith says it is much easier for Australian jockeys to perform in Europe than the reverse, making his double impressive.
“It was good to see him do that because a lot of them don’t adapt,” Smith said.
“It’s the most competitive racing in the world in terms of the way we race.”
Doyle will have his work cut out from him on Quantrill from barrier 16 with Smith opting not to scratch the horse despite the awkward draw.
“You have to keep racing him because he’s such a good doer and such a fresh horse,” Smith said.
Quantill is a $17 chance behind $5.50 favourite Sugar Bay Leonard who is also first emergency for the 1100m race earlier in the program.