Godolphin’s stand in jockey James Doyle will miss several key rides over the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival after fracturing his right hand in a fall at Randwick on Monday.
Doyle’s mount Pearls crashed to the turf at the 800m mark in the Group 3 $150,000 Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes (1200m) and while initial reports cleared the Englishman of any serious injuries, he was later diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in his right hand.
Doyle could be out for up to a month and will miss the ride on Hartnell in the re-match with Winx in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 25.
Hartnell, with Doyle aboard, ran another honest race when he led the field home behind Chris Waller’s super mare Winx when runner up in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m), the race before Pearls fell, and trainer John O’Shea was pleased with the effort.
“He’s in for a good Autumn,” said O’Shea.
“I hope he can pick up a nice, little race …… hopefully Chris (Waller) might have mercy on us.”
O’Shea has also pencilled in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day on March 18, a race that Winx won’t be contesting, and Doyle could be back in the saddle by then if the hand heels in time.
Doyle has been partnering Golden Rose winner Astern in his lead up to his return in the Autumn and he was pleased with two recent barrier trials at Warwick Farm for a sixth and a third.
But Doyle is hoping that his fractured hand will be right for Astern’s Autumn Carnival debut which now looks like being the Group 1 $700,000 The Galaxy (1100m) on Golden Slipper Day after the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday was originally selected as his comeback run.
Doyle also rode Veranillo to victory in the Listed $125,000 Hinchinbrook Plate (1100m) at Randwick on February 4 and the Medaglio D’Oro colt is now in the market at $13 with Ladbrokes.com.au for the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m).
Godolphin brought Doyle out form England to replace their Australian number one jockey James McDonald who was disqualified last December for eighteen months after pleading guilty to placing a bet on Astern before he won his maiden at Randwick in December 2015.
Doyle had settled into his new role well and has ridden sixteen winners in the Sydney Metropolitan area since arriving in Australia earlier in the year.
With Doyle out of action for at least a month O’Shea will have to call on the services of a handful of jockeys that already ride for the stable, which includes Brenton Avdulla and Tim Clark in Sydney and Craig Williams in Melbourne.