Jockey James Doyle admits he cannot wait to team up with Crystal Ocean once again for Wednesday’s Juddmonte International at York.
The five-year-old has enjoyed another thrilling campaign after winning the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown, the Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori rode him for those outings, but both were unavailable for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month. Doyle claimed the ride and trainer Sir Michael Stoute has put his faith back in him for the first day of the Ebor Festival.
Crystal Ocean is the 2.10 favourite to win Wednesday’s race, and Doyle is expecting another big run this week.
He told reporters: “I was really proud of my horse at Ascot and I thought for a second we might have won. I’m looking forward to the Juddmonte because it is the race of the week.
“I can’t thank the owners and Sir Michael enough for the faith they have shown in me. There are various reasons, with Ryan and Frankie being unavailable, but even still it gives you plenty of confidence.
“He has all the credentials a top Group One horse needs, and I’m sure they wouldn’t be running him if he wasn’t firing on all cylinders. He has no quirks – he is plain sailing to ride, which is a big plus. He is just a solid Group One horse.”
John Gosden’s King Of Comedy is the second favourite at odds of 4.50, while Aidan O’Brien’s Japan cannot be disregarded at 6.00.