Sunday 19 November 2017

James Doyle: Longchamp track perfect for Al Kazeem

Jockey James Doyle (centre) celebrates winning the Coral-Eclipse on Al Kazeem last July
Jockey James Doyle (centre) celebrates winning the Coral-Eclipse on Al Kazeem last July

James Doyle believes the trip and track at Longchamp will be "perfect" for Al Kazeem when he bids for glory in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on October 6.

The in-demand rider is relishing a crack at Europe's end-of-season middle-distance showpiece with Roger Charlton's five-year-old, who has won three Group Ones this year at a mile and a quarter.


He has been placed in two others, most recently in the Irish Champion Stakes, and will try a mile and a half for the first time time since winning the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in May last year.


Doyle was aboard that day, as he has been ever since, and he told Racing UK: "I rode at Longchamp a couple of weeks ago for the first time, I walked the whole of the track and I thought it would be perfect for him.


"That nice false straight and long straight, it takes plenty of getting and I thought it was the perfect track for him.


"The race looks pretty tough after watching the trials at the weekend, Treve looked spectacular the way she quickened up and Orfevre couldn't have won any easier, so the competition is pretty strong.


"Al Kazeem has done really to well to have done what he's done over a mile and a quarter and on good to firm and sometimes firm ground.


"I've ridden him once over a mile and a half on soft ground and he was pretty awesome that day. I'm not really a sectionals man, but I read somewhere that the last five furlongs of that race were 0.02 seconds slower than a six-furlong Group Three on the card.


"That just shows he's a pretty useful horse over a mile and a half with cut in the ground."


Treve's jockey Frankie Dettori would not swap his mount for any other in the race after making his first ride in public on the filly a winning one in the Prix Vermeille.


"I went over to ride her 10 days before and she worked sensational, so we were confident she was going to run good," Dettori told At The Races.


"Bearing in mind it was her first run over the trip we were a little bit concerned but she is the perfect horse for the track as she can travel and she can quicken twice, which is the sort of horse you need for a race like the Arc.


"One thing that I wish for is a draw between one and seven as she needs cover, hopefully I'm not too wide but when you ride a horse like her you are confident that when the gap does come she will go through it. She's exciting to ride.


"She's trained by a masterclass trainer like Criquette (Head-Maarek) so she ticks every box. I wouldn't like to swap her at this stage."

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