Doyle signs Abdullah retainer
James Doyle has talked of his "great honour" at being appointed retained jockey for Khalid Abdullah's UK-trained horses as he prepares to kick off the new association aboard 2000 Guineas favourite Kingman at Sandown on Saturday.
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Doyle's star has been in the ascendancy over the last couple of seasons, the jockey's career moving on to a new level winning the Dubai Duty Free in the Abdullah silks on the Roger Charlton-trained Cityscape last year.
The 25-year-old has won a further three Group Ones this season for Charlton aboard Al Kazeem.
Doyle's first ride for his new boss comes up quickly as John Gosden's hugely impressive Newmarket maiden winner Kingman puts his unbeaten record on the line in this weekend's Betfred Mobile Solario Stakes.
In a statement to Press Association Sport, Doyle said: "It's a great honour to be asked to ride for such a world-renowned operation like Juddmonte.
"However, I would not be in this fortunate position if it had not been for such wonderful support from Roger Charlton and his other owners, in particular Mr (John) Deer, who gave me the chance to ride a truly great horse in Al Kazeem.
"I've already ridden some exceptional horses for Prince Khalid, including Cityscape, who provided a launching pad for my career in winning in Dubai.
"I hope to repay the faith he has shown in handing me one of the best appointments in world racing that a jockey can have."
Gosden's stable jockey William Buick had been initially pencilled in to ride Kingman in the Group Three Solario, but the owner's racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, said: "He [Doyle] will ride Kingman this Saturday.
"Prince Khalid wished to retain a jockey and he had been very pleased with the way James had been riding his horses. James has certainly had a fantastic year so far."
Despite having made a promising start to his career, Doyle endured a spell in the wilderness and said he had considered turning his back on racing by 2010.
Two years later he was unveiled as stable jockey to Beckhampton-trainer Charlton, with whom he has struck up an excellent association.
Doyle has won big races aboard the Charlton-trained Al Kazeem in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, the Coral-Eclipse and the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.
His Ascot success was the first leg of remarkable 892/1 three-timer on the card as Belgian Bill and Rizeena later struck in the Royal Hunt Cup and the Queen Mary Stakes respectively.
Writing on his website, Charlton said he was delighted at the new role for Doyle.
He said: "I am thrilled for James Doyle's new appointment as retained jockey for Juddmonte Farms and it is a wonderful opportunity for him.
"Having won four Group One races for me recently I am not surprised that an operation as successful as Juddmonte Farms has recognised his talents."
Abdullah's distinctive silks have recently become synonymous with Frankel, the great racehorse who retired last October unbeaten in 14 starts.
As stable jockey to trainer Sir Henry Cecil, Tom Queally was ever present in the saddle aboard the colt, but has never been retained by Abdullah.
The Prince's last UK-based retained rider was Richard Hughes, who held the position for seven years before the pair separated in 2007.
Other high-profile Abdullah horses Doyle can look forward to riding include leading St Leger contender Excess Knowledge, Royal Ascot winner Remote, Nassau heroine Winsili, all trained by Gosden, and Lady Cecil's promising filly Joyeuse.