Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle discusses her rides at the Boodles May Festival, including Long Distance Cup hero Trueshan in the Ormonde Stakes.
The new Flat season promises to be my most exciting so far, so I’m delighted to be sharing my journey with you in my exclusive new blog.
I’m out to achieve more top-level success and though it’s a tough challenge, I’m determined to give it my best shot to become the first female champion jockey.
I’ll be running the rule over my weekend rides and my best chances at our fantastic festivals this summer, as well as sharing my own thoughts on the star performers in all the big races.
Today I’m looking forward to the Boodles May Festival at Chester, live on Sky Sports Racing.
Hoping for true test for Trueshan
I’m so excited to be back on my Champions’ Day hero TRUESHAN in the Ormonde Stakes (3.15) on Thursday – one of two live chances on day two of Chester’s Boodles May Festival.
The rain that’s fallen in the North West over the last couple of days will help my lad as he prefers to get his toe in, just as he did when he won the Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October.
Alan King would have started his campaign at Ascot last week had the ground not been too quick, but this Group 3 looks a nice enough place to begin and Alan can be relied upon to have him fit and well enough to do himself justice.
Japan is clearly the one to beat but he, too, is having his first run of the year and must prove himself over this longer trip. As long as we go a good gallop, which is usually the case around Chester, I’m sure my horse will run our race.
Wednesday 5th May 12:45pm
Knight fit and ready for Chester dash
CORINTHIA KNIGHT has been a real flagbearer for Archie Watson and promises to run a big race in the Satchell Moran Solicitors Business Interruption Claims Handicap (1.45) over the flying 5f at Chester on Thursday.
He’s done well for a break and confirmed that with a nice comeback run around Chelmsford City last month. I’m happy with my draw in stall five as he’s blessed with enough early pace to hold a prominent position.
Gate speed is so vital in sprints around Chester as everyone has the same idea. They all want to go forward! You always need a bit of luck but I couldn’t be happier with him.
I also have rides for two of my best supporters, Tony Carroll and Dave Evans. PROTON will hopefully come on for his run at Leicester when he lines up in the 10.5f handicap (3.45). That was his first since winning a novice hurdle for Tony at Ludlow early last year, while Dave’s GRAFTONAT will need to improve on what he’s achieved so far to figure in the two-year-old maiden (4.15).
Beaten by a whisker but delighted with ‘Dark’
It’s always frustrating to get beaten by a narrow margin, especially in a big race, but I was absolutely thrilled with CAME FROM THE DARK’s neck second in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes on 2,000 Guineas day at Newmarket.
It was the first time Ed Walker’s five-year-old had stepped into Pattern company but, as I expected, he wasn’t out of place and would have won with another stride – even though we didn’t get the best of runs.
He’s the type who doesn’t like to see too much daylight and likes to challenge between horses so I rode him to play to his strengths but just got held up for a few vital strides. I’m in no doubt he’d have got up with a clear run.
There’s a lot of fun to be had with him this summer and it’ll be interesting to see how he copes if Ed decides to pitch him into the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot next month. He’s run well there before so you’d have to be optimistic of another big performance.
Parade ring fall denies my Guineas debut
I was really looking forward to my first ever ride in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday but never made it onto the track after my mount ALBADRI reared up and fell heavily leaving the parade ring.
It was a shock as he’d never done anything like that before but luckily I fell clear of him so wasn’t hurt.
At least there was some compensation for his trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam when her filly SAFFRON BEACH finished a brilliant second in the 1,000 Guineas on Sunday. Jane prepares her horses impeccably so it was great to see the filly build on her second in the Nell Gwyn.
Winner Mother Earth brought more experience to the race, having run well in the Fillies’ Mile over course and distance and in the Breeders’ Cup. Frankie Dettori got her in a beautiful rhythm and she always looked the winner to me. It was a remarkable achievement by Aidan O’Brien, becoming the first trainer to win the Classic three times in a row in over 100 years.
Bullet has Queen Mary credentials
I couldn’t have been happier with SILVER BULLET LADY’s winning debut in a Salisbury conditions race on Sunday. She was the first runner for my boss Imad Alsagar’s stallion Decorated Knight, so it was a perfect result – even if the race didn’t entirely go to plan.
The filly veered sharply right coming out of the stalls and lost a fair bit of ground, but once I got her into a rhythm her natural speed carried her into the race. She still had a lot of ground to make up by the time we reached the cut-away but really got the hang of things to win going away.
Roger Charlton, her trainer, will discuss plans with Imad but I can’t see any reason why she shouldn’t head to Royal Ascot next month. She’ll improve heaps and tons for that win so the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes could be the ideal race.
Bonnie the highlight of my Bath treble
Jonny Portman paid only 4,000 gns for Kodi Bear filly SIENNA BONNIE but that didn’t stop her bolting up in a Bath novice on Monday, initiating my treble for three different trainers.
She had shown bags of promise on debut at Windsor and really knew her job, making every yard of the running to win by eight-and-a-half lengths.
Jonny has a real knack for doing well with two-year-olds fillies. He won a Listed race with Mild Illusion in 2019 and the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury with Mrs Danvers three years earlier. He has similar plans for this filly, who looks an ideal type for the sales races and can only improve for the experience as she still felt quite green.