Friday 23 March 2018

James Doyle enjoys fairytale day as Al Kazeem books Paris trip

James Doyle celebrates winning the Prince of Wales's Stakes on Al Kazeem
James Doyle celebrates winning the Prince of Wales's Stakes on Al Kazeem

Tom Peacock and Chris Wilson

Al Kazeem has the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as his priority after he topped a staggering 127-1 Royal Ascot treble for James Doyle in the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

The young rider had never even had a winner at the famous meeting until now, and was to add the Royal Hunt Cup and Queen Mary Stakes to his haul straight away.

Roger Charlton now regards Al Kazeem as the best horse he has ever trained, and now will plot his way to Longchamp.

Paul Hanagan had launched an audacious bid for glory on Mukhadram by stealing an advantage of at least three lengths but 11-4 chance Al Kazeem had him in his sights at the furlong-pole and collared him with 50 yards to go.

"I was a little concerned on the turn but I've won on this horse every time I've sat on him and he has filled me with great confidence," said Doyle.

"Royal Ascot is so tough, you go there full of hope and expectation and it can end in disappointment. You grow up wanting to ride Royal Ascot winners, so it's an amazing feeling."

Referring to past stars of his, Charlton said. "Cityscape produced a brilliant effort but has not produced it since. Quest For Fame winning the Derby was special but it wasn't a good Derby and this is probably a better horse.

"I've always longed to have a runner in the Arc. Maybe we could go to the King George and then to the Arc. The Eclipse is 17 days away, which he would be favourite for. The horse will tell us."

Clive Brittain left no-one in any doubt as to the regard in which he holds Rizeena after she dug deep for Doyle to impressively reel in American speedster Sweet Emma Rose in the Queen Mary.

Brittain said of his 6-1 winner: "She's progressing so much that I think she'll run a big race in the Moyglare (Curragh, September 1)."

In between the Group events Doyle showed his appetite for a handicap success as George Baker's stable stalwart Belgian Bill came good at 33-1 in the Royal Hunt Cup.

Baker said: "I was a bit nervous when they split into two groups, but about halfway I started to fancy our chances.

"He's been a fantastic standard-bearer for the yard and, though it's a cliche, he deserved to win a big one like this."

Duntle, meanwhile, could attempt settle an old score back in Group One company following her plucky triumph from Ladys First and Dank in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes.

David Wachman's vastly progressive filly was disqualified and demoted into second place on her sole try at the top level, when she was first past the post in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last September.

The four-year-old (100-30) has since boosted her profile with a Group Three victory on her return to the fray in May and is to set sail for even greater riches.

Newmarket's Falmouth Stakes and the Prix Jaques le Marois at Deauville in France could now be on the horizon for a horse who was visiting the Royal winner's enclosure for a second successive year

Wachman said: "She doesn't win by far, but she does enough.

"The Matron Stakes is in the past, it's history, now we'll try to win another Group One.

"The Falmouth is maybe where we are heading now, there's a race in France and that is also on the agenda."

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