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James Doyle aims to cap big year in style

Jockey who rode 23 winners in the UAE last season rides favourite at Santa Anita

Gulf News

Dubai: James Doyle, who stamped his class on the UAE racing season earlier this year, is hoping to make a big impact at this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup meeting at Santa Anita, California.

The 24-year-old jockey rode 23 winners, highlighted by a scintillating Group 1 success in the $5 million (Dh18 million) Dubai Duty Free (G1) on Dubai World Cup night, to finish fourth in the 2011-2012 UAE jockey’s championship.

Now, he hopes he can win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) on Saturday when he rides the favourite Dundonnell, who is prepared by Roger Charlton.

European horses have a good record in the race with John Gosden’s Donativum (2008) and Pounced (2009) winning at Santa Anita while Aidan O’Brien’s Wrote triumphed 12 months ago at Churchill Downs.

“The other horses from Europe clearly have to step up to beat us and if Dundonnell can improve again he is going to be a major player,” he said in the Daily Mail.

“I think it will benefit him running round a couple of bends. He is a highly-strung horses and you have to keep a lid on him.

“I had a look at the track this morning and it’s going to be fast, so you need a horse with a turn of foot that can also break well and get a position on the turn,”

Dundonnell drew stall six in the 14-horse race which also includes fellow British raiders Mahmoud Al Zarouni’s Artigiano, Jeremy Noseda’s Fantastic Moon and Aidan O’Brien pair George Vancouver and Lines of Battle.