Hollie Doyle blog: A Glorious day to ride second Group One
Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle reflects on her second career Group One victory as she heads straight off to Sandown on Wednesday for five rides. Winning the Group One Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup
Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle reflects on her second career Group One victory as she heads straight off to Sandown on Wednesday for five rides.
Incredible feeling to win my second Group One
Winning the Group One Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup on TRUESHAN is just incredible. It's days like this that you do the job for and I could not be happier for everyone involved with such a wonderful horse.
Like me, his owners and trainer Alan King were gutted when the ground went against us at Royal Ascot, but this more than makes up for it.
I have had him in my mind every day since our British Champions Day win, wondering when we would get back together, and I am grateful to his owners for keeping faith in me. He is a superstar on this testing ground so I felt quietly confident once the rain came at the weekend and again overnight.
I haven't had a lot of experience when it comes to riding short-priced favourites in Group Ones so I was feeling the pressure a bit more than normal, but he's an exceptionally talented animal when he gets his conditions.
He was a bit free early in the race as there was no pace on, so at halfway I thought I had to do something about it because I did not want to get trapped on the rail in a sprint finish. When I let him slide up to the girth of the leader he just dropped the bridle on me and the further we went the better he was. Once we hit that rising ground he found another gear.
Riding my first Group One winner on Glen Shiel on Champions Day last year was incredibly special, but to do it again in front of a crowd gave me some buzz.
I am not one for getting too high or too low but when you have experiences like this you have got to make the most of it, and completing an unforgettable treble on Lord Riddiford and Sisters In The Sky was the icing on the cake!
Snow Lantern can light up rain-soaked Goodwood
Poetic Flare sprinkles star quality all over the Qatar Sussex Stakes (3.35) at Goodwood on Wednesday and will be incredibly hard to beat if he runs up to the levels he achieved in the Qipco 2000 Guineas and the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
But if there is a chink in his armour in these testing conditions I would like to see my old 'guv'nor' Richard Hannon win his first Sussex Stakes with the wonderful SNOW LANTERN, who could not arrive on the downs in better form.
Richard Senior won this race three times with Reel Buddy, Canford Cliffs and Toronado and it would be very special for Richard Junior if he could emulate his father's success with this filly, who looked brilliant in the Group One Falmouth Stakes and handled heavy ground well in the Coronation.
She is taking on the boys this time in her biggest test so far, but if she settles well she can make a real name for herself. I am just disappointed her regular jockey Sean Levey cannot ride her, as he's suspended.
Sean has done an awful lot of work with the filly at home and rides her so brilliantly on the track. He really has been the making of her and even though he will have to watch from the sidelines I know he'll be screaming her home.
Watch out for William at Sandown
After the excitement of Tuesday's Goodwood Cup, I am taking five rides at Sandown where I will be slipping back into the Goodwood Cup-winning Trueshan silks on Alan King's FOREVER WILLIAM in the Casumo Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap (7.25).
This will be the first time I have ridden the son of Sea The Moon who has progressed well in staying handicaps and should relish the one-mile-and-six furlong trip on the rain-softened ground.
Conditions were similar when he stayed on grittily at Newbury on only his second handicap start a few weeks ago, finishing a close second in a strongly run race. He also fared well on his handicap debut over this course and distance in June when he kept on nicely to be third.
Strong hand with promising Croupier
I am really looking forward to getting the leg up on Simon and Ed Crisford's lightly raced CROUPIER who tackles an extra furlong in the Casumo Today EBF Novice Stakes (6.55) at Sandown.
He has been gelded since finishing fourth in a hot 6f maiden that I played a prominent part in. While Group Two Superlative Stakes third Dhabab won it, I was second on Archie Watson's Sweeping - and he finished fourth in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He's been gelded since then and the step up in distance should prove ideal, given the way he finished his race at Leicester. He handled easy ground at Yarmouth on debut so the rain-softened conditions shouldn't be a concern.
Hoping stars align for Sagittarius
I am back on Archie Watson's sharp little two-year-old SAGITTARIUS in the Casumo Horse Racing & Sports Betting Nursery Handicap (6.25). It's his first start in a handicap and I think he could be well treated off an opening rating of 73.
Third for me on debut at Wolverhampton and a novice stakes winner at Lingfield, he's a real terrier of a horse who will be suited by Sandown's stiff finish and shouldn't mind the easy ground, being a son of Showcasing.
Trip the key to unexposed Walker filly
The nine-furlong trip could be the key to the unexposed MISS SCALETTA running well on her handicap debut at Sandown. Like Sagittarius, she looks fairly treated off an introductory mark of 75 in the Casumo Proud To Support British Racing Fillies' Handicap (8.25).
Ed Walker's three-year-old found plenty, as her pedigree suggested she would, when winning a fillies' novice at Goodwood but couldn't build on that under a penalty at Wolverhampton.
The weights are much more in her favour this time and I am hopeful she will be as comfortable on the ground as some of her illustrious relatives.
King interesting back at winning track
SHUV H'PENNY KING will appreciate the return to the scene of his handicap win in June when he contests the Download The Casumo App Today Handicap (7.55) at Sandown.
He is only 3lb higher in the weights than when he scored over seven furlongs, going away from his rivals, and looks well worth another try at one mile.
William Muir and Chris Grassick's three-year-old gets weight from every one of his rivals so could be well placed to take this step up in grade in his stride.