James Doyle says he is looking forward to Saturday’s Qipco King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes as he prepares to partner the “faultless” Crystal Ocean.
Doyle has gathered a reputation of being the go-to rider when it comes to choosing a jockey for the big races and has been given the nod to ride Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean. The trainer called on the Englishman’s services in the Group 1 contest last year as a late super-sub and he didn’t disappoint after he guided Poet’s Ward to victory in a thrilling finish to the mid-summer showpiece.
Stoute has turned to Doyle again to deliver him a seventh King George success and the jockey is feeling confident of bringing last year’s runner-up home first in what is a star-studded field. “He’s been faultless this season and in his preparation for this race,” he said.
“I had a sit on him last Friday and gave him a canter at home, and he feels like a very straightforward horse to ride and he looks that way in races. In every run he’s had he’s been uncomplicated and he’s tactically versatile, which is useful.
“He’s a proper, solid Group 1 horse now. The form of his Prince of Wales’s win looks strong with Magical, who finished second, a top-class performer as well as the third horse [Waldgeist], so I’m looking forward to the race.”
Crystal Ocean is 3.75 to claim the spoils on Saturday, while superstar mare Enable, who has won her last 10 outings, including the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park, is the 1.67 favourite to land the win for John Gosden.