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James Doyle

As one of the retained riders for the powerful Godolphin operation, James Doyle has access to some of the best horses in training and he's also considered among the nicest jockeys in the weighing room.

The Cambridge-born rider is closing in on a decade with the boys in blue and counts Classic wins and several Group 1 prizes among his trophy haul with Godolphin. 

Watch every race across the five days from Tuesday 20th June – Saturday 24th June via the bet365 Sports Live Streaming service.

WhatRoyal Ascot 2023 
WhereRoyal Ascot, Ascot Racecourse
WhenTuesday 20th June – Saturday 24th June 
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming, ITV, Sky Sports Racing

Taking after his mother

The Cambridgeshire-born rider had racing in his blood from the get-go, with his mother being the former trainer Jacqueline Doyle – whose biggest success came when Zanay won the Winter Derby at Lingfield in 2000, no doubt an inspiration to her then 12-year-old son. Jockey Sophie Doyle is his sister. 

Doyle had his first ride under rules on 4th June, 2004 at Goodwood on Somayda, who was trained by his mother, though he'd wait a full 12 months before recording his first winner when he partnered the Richard Price-trained gelding Farnborough to success on the all-weather at Wolverhampton. 

Though he notched decent numbers in 2007 and 2008, when he rode 41 and 53 winners respectively, he had a drop-off both in terms of winners and total rides in the two years that followed, with Doyle revealing he contemplated going on a plumbing course in 2010 as his career in the saddle stalled. 

Things turned in 2011, as he aligned himself with Roger Charlton and rode 76 UK winners, also enjoying a stint in the Middle East, before becoming stable jockey for Charlton in 2012. Soon after, he notched his first Group 1 success, when he rode Charlton's Cityscape to win the Dubai Turf at Meydan.

Switching to Godolphin

In 2014, the Doyler signed up as a retained rider for Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation, where he originally rode the horses trained in Newmarket by Saeed bin Suroor. 

William Buick, the other half of a new riding team secured by Godolphin, was initially posted to ride for Charlie Appleby, though over the intervening years, the pair have more commonly crossed over, with reigning champion jockey Buick the senior partner in the Godolphin ranks now. 

Through his continuing association with Godolphin, Doyle has sampled top-level successes in all parts of the world and has more than 30 winners at Group 1 level on his impressive CV.

Guineas double in 2022

In his early days at Godolphin, Kingman became the flagship for Doyle and the operation as a whole. 

In a stunning 2014, he won the Lockinge at Newbury, the Irish 2000 Guineas, the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville – with his only blemish a close second as 40/1 shot Night Of Thunder denied him in the Guineas at Newmarket

Further major successes flowed, amongst them Blue Point in 2019 completing a Royal Ascot double via the King's Stand and Diamond Jubilee Stakes in five days, while Big Orange in 2017 provided Doyle with a Gold Cup win at the major summer meeting on the Ascot turf. 

Over 24 hours in the spring of 2022, Doyle mastered the Rowley Mile when he won the 2000 Guineas on Coroebus for Appleby and Team Godolphin – beating stablemate Native Trail and Buick into second – and then getting Cachet up in the final strides to win the 1000 Guineas for the George Boughey team and complete an impressive Newmarket double. 

Doyle has also been one of the more active jockeys on social media in his time and he's philosophical in regards to how that plays out. 

"I've been on Twitter for quite some time now, I was one of the earliest jockeys to be on there I think," he said in 2022. "I think it's an even spread of people sending the hate and then people sending good and nice things about certain rides. 

"If a jockey messes up, everyone is entitled to their opinion with things, sometimes it's good and sometimes it can obviously be bad. You learn to take the rough with the smooth."

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