Godolphin's Pinatubo Image Credit: PA Twitter

Dubai: Godolphin’s UK-based jockey James Doyle will fly in to France for a peach of an assignment where he will partner stable star Pinatubo in the Group 1 450,000-euro Prix du Moulin at Longchamp on Sunday.

Doyle rode Charlie Appleby’s high-class colt to win his first four races as a two-year-old last season including the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Vintage at Goodwood, before William Buick rode the son of Shamardal in his subsequent five starts including most recently in July where he won the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville.


Doyle is relishing the opportunity to renew his association with Pinatubo, who was the top-rated European two-year-old of 2019 when he was unbeaten in six races

“I haven’t ridden him since Goodwood last year, so it will be great to get back on board,” Doyle said

“I sat on him on Wednesday morning and he seems in good shape. There’s only the six runners on Sunday, but I think they’ve won 14 Group Ones between them, so it’s a pretty strong renewal to say the least.

“It would be great to get that Group One win over a mile with him. I’ll be having a week off when I come back from France, but if any horse is worth it, you’d think it would be Pinatubo.”

Pinatubo will face five rivals including Godolphin’s France-based stars Persian King and Victor Ludorum and the Irish trip of Circus Maximus, Siskin and Romanised.

Aidan O’Brien’s Circus Maximus and Ken Condon’s Romanised finished first and second in this contest 12 months ago and renew rivalry for Ryan Moore and Billy Lee respectively.

Siskin is the Irish 2,000 Guineas hero.

Buick will stay back in the UK where he hopes to partner Appleby’s stable star Ghaiyyath in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown next weekend and before that at the four-day St Leger Meeting at Doncaster starting on Wednesday September 9.

Appleby said earlier this week: “We are in a very privileged position to have two retained world-class jockeys in James and William.

“We have looked at the logistics of it all and hopefully how it’s going to work out. James is going to France on Sunday to ride Pinatubo, who he knows equally as well as William.

“James rode him during the week and was very pleased with him.”

While most travellers between Britain from France are required to quarantine for two weeks under the current COVID-19 guidelines, Doyle is in the elite sportsman category, which requires him to quarantine for only eight days and undergo two mandatory tests which must return negative, before he can travel.

“James also rides the two-year-old on Sunday (Naval Crown in the Prix la Rochette), so he’ll have two mounts. We have runners in France later in the week, but we’ll make a decision over the weekend on whether he’ll stay or come back and start his quarantine,” Appleby added.