Injured jockey James Doyle plans to be back in the saddle to ride glamour colt Astern in the Group 1 $700,000 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day March 18.
Doyle walked away with a fractured right hand when his mount Pearls crashed to the turf at the 800m mark in the Group 3 $150,000 Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Monday and he was lucky not to have received any more serious injuries.
Initial reports suggested that Doyle would be out of the saddle for at least a month but the English jockey tweeted this morning that he could be back riding in three weeks.
“Very positive morning with Racing NSW Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Duckworth-extremely encouraging. Aim is to be back within 3 weeks,” Doyle tweeted.
The Australian Godolphin operation headed up by trainer John O’Shea 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.
Doyle has been impressed with the stable’s star three year old Astern in two recent barrier trials as he prepares for his return to the race track for the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The English jockey was aboard Astern for the second time when the Medaglia D’Oro colt finished a close third behind English and Terravista in a blanket finish in an 811m trial at Warwick Farm on February 6.
“Very pleased with him. Jumped out nicely, nice and relaxed and showed a nice turn of foot in the straight,” Doyle said.
“Very pleased with him, he feels in great shape.”
Astern was asked to do a little bit extra than his first trial when he was given an easy time by Doyle to finish sixth to Sezanne over 1000m at Warwick Farm on January 23.
O’Shea’s high quality weight for age performer Hartnell is also due to race on March 18 at Rosehill in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and was aboard the six year old when he resumed for a second to Winx in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last Monday.
Doyle will also be watching O’Shea’s number one Golden Slipper fancy Veranillo run in the Group 2 $250,000 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Veranillo was impressive in scoring with Doyle in the saddle in the Listed $125,000 Hinchinbrook Plate (1100m) at Randwick on February 4 and another good performance on Saturday will see the Medaglio D’Oro colt stay in contention for the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m).