Hollie Doyle blog: Rain could come just in time for Trueshan in Goodwood Cup defence | Racing News


Fresh from an Ascot double on King George Day, Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle is doing a rain dance ahead of Trueshan’s potential Goodwood Cup tilt.

Rain boosts Trueshan’s Goodwood Cup defence

The heavy rain forecast over West Sussex on Monday evening could come just in the nick of time for my defending champion TRUESHAN​​ in the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup (3.35) on the opening day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Tuesday’s Group 1 feature is certainly a high-class renewal with four-times winner Stradivarius​ out to avenge his Ascot Gold Cup defeat to the new kid on the block, Aidan O’Brien’s exciting Kyprios​.

Hollie Doyle and Trueshan
Hollie Doyle and Trueshan after the Northumberland Plate

Trueshan was forced to miss that race due to unsuitably quick ground, of course, but went to Newcastle the following week to produce one of the greatest weight-carrying handicap performances of all time in the Northumberland Plate.

We have yet to come up against Kyprios, who could have the staying world at his feet, but have beaten Stradivarius every time we have come up against him and if the ground is in our favour I would not swap my hero for anything. Should trainer Alan King let him take his chance we have a good draw in stall four to work with.

Sky Sports Racing’s Hollie Doyle

Both Kyprios and Stradivarius are pitched out wider which gives me the opportunity to secure a better early race position. Goodwood is such a unique track with lots of twists and turns so you never quite know how a 2m race is going to pan out, though.

I’m just hoping for a good end-to-end gallop which will hopefully see him produce his very best.

Step up in trip likely to suit Burke filly

Karl Burke’s lightly raced filly BREAKING LIGHT​​ looks my best chance of the day in the supporting races and I’m really looking forward to riding her in the Coral Beaten-By-A-Length Free Bet Fillies’ Handicap (5.20).

She came back from a break following wind surgery to bolt up in another fillies’ race over 7f at Haydock Park a couple of weeks ago and looks potentially very well handicapped off a mark of 77, despite a 5lb rise.

The daughter of Dabirsim has a lovely draw in stall two and gives the impression she will relish the step up to 1m. She’s still low mileage and open to enough improvement to keep the winning run going for an in-form trainer.

Playing my hand late on Baryshnikov

The Coral Chesterfield Cup (1.50) is an ultra-competitive handicap but my mount BARYSHNIKOV​​ has the tools to put in a big performance despite his long odds. David and Nicola Barron’s gelding has done his connections proud already this year, winning back-to-back Class 2s at Pontefract and Chester in the spring.

Of course, the handicapper’s had his say since then but he resumes only 2lb higher than his last winning mark.

We are drawn on the outside but that should not be an issue over this trip as Baryshnikov is a hold-up horse who seems to enjoy weaving a path through the field and getting there late, as he demonstrated under Connor Beasley on the Roodee.

Track form a positive for Lihou

It’s always nice to ride for my good friend Dave Evans, especially at the big meetings, so a prominent performance from LIHOU​​ in the Nicholson Gin Handicap (4.10) would put a smile on my face.

He’s still on a fair mark despite winning another 5f handicap at Salisbury two starts ago and seems to have been galvanised by the visor lately. Lihou finished well in a course and distance handicap at the end of April behind the progressive Raasel so the track holds no fears.

Jumbly (near side) just heads her head in front to beat Oscula in the Valiant Stakes at Ascot
Jumbly (near side) just heads her head in front to beat Oscula in the Valiant Stakes at Ascot

He’s not short of gears but I just wish we had a higher draw than three, which is not ideal. My draw on LIL GUFF​​ in stall 11 is much better in the World Pool EBF Fillies’ Handicap (5.55) over 6f. I won a course and distance novice on Dan and Claire Kubler’s filly last October so returning to Goodwood can only be a plus.

She’s run creditably in defeat at Newbury and Newmarket and though she would not want conditions too quick, she’s a sharp sort who is still on a fair mark and always tries her best.

Thrilled to reach 700 domestic winners

I was thrilled to reach another big milestone at Ascot on Saturday when I became only the second female jockey to ride 700 domestic winners. I could not have hoped for a bigger stage to achieve it on and to ride a double on King George Day on JUMBLY​​ and Tempus​​ made it extra special.

Jumbly, for Harry and Roger Charlton and owner Emmy Rothschild, got me to 700 in the Group 3 Valiant Stakes. It was a tight verdict but I was pretty confident we had got up to beat William Buick and Oscula. It was the same race her mother won which made it very special.

Tempus and Hollie Doyle (gold and navy) stretch clear to win at Ascot
Tempus and Hollie Doyle (gold and navy) stretch clear to win at Ascot

I am not sure what plans the Charltons have in mind for the rest of the season, though the Celebration Mile at Goodwood has been mentioned. I will be back with my thoughts on my Wednesday rides, including Super Sprint winner Eddie’s Boy​​ in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes.

Hollie Doyle was speaking to Sky Sports Racing’s Simon Mapletoft.


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