O’Shea keen to keep Doyle as number 1 rider

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Godolphin’s Australian trainer John O’Shea is keen to keep English jockey James Doyle as his number one rider into the future.

Trainer John O'Shea, above, is keen to keep English jockey James Doyle as his number 1 rider. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Trainer John O’Shea, above, is keen to keep English jockey James Doyle as his number 1 rider. Photo by Daniel Costello.

The Godolphin retrained Englishman was sent to Sydney to replace James McDonald who is spending time on the sidelines after pleading guilty to having a bet on his mount Astern when the colt won on debut at Randwick in December 2015.

McDonald is currently in the process of appealing Racing New South Wales Stewards’ decision to disqualify him for eighteen months.

Doyle has ridden in Australia previously at several Carnival meetings and arrived in Sydney to take up temporary duties as McDonalds replacement at the end of November and after having his first ride at Canterbury on November 30 was quick to find the winner’s stall with a winning double for O’Shea at Rosehill the following Saturday, December 3.

Doyle has kept the momentum going and rode half the card at Randwick last Saturday with four winners.

Raiment and Badajoz carried the Godolphin royal blue colours for two of Doyle’s win and he was able to score on the Mark Newnham trained Careless and Admiral Jello for trainer Kris Lees.

O’Shea is impressed with the Englishman’s ability and strength and will be happy to see him extend his visa beyond April and set up permanently in Sydney.

“I would think so,” O’Shea told The Sunday Telegraph.

“As I said when he was coming here, he is a world-class rider and he has ridden Group 1 winners on about five continents.”

“The boss didn’t have him on a retainer for no reason and he is a great rider.”

Doyle has now ridden twelve winners from forty-seven rides since arriving in Australia and was glad to get a couple of rides away from the O’Shea stable.

“Hopefully I’m getting the hang of it,” Doyle said.

“It’s tough being the outsider coming in. All these trainers have their regular riders. But a lot of the boys are up at the Magic Millions, so it’s nice to get a couple of outside rides and collect on them.”

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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