James Doyle is excited to partner Crystal Ocean for Sir Michael Stoute in next weekend’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. The son of Sea The Stars is unbeaten in three starts this season – completing his hat-trick with an impressive victory in last month’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He’s now set to lock horns with superstar filly Enable, trained by John Gosden and a winner of the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on her reappearance this month. Frankie Dettori, who partnered Crystal Ocean at the Royal meeting, has confirmed his allegiance lies with dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Enable in this battle, leaving a seat free on Crystal Ocean.
He has been partnered by Dettori or Ryan Moore for each of his three wins at Sandown, Newbury and Royal Ascot this season, but Moore is expected to ride for Aidan O’Brien in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, with the Ballydoyle handler including Classic winners Anthony Van Dyck and Sovereign amongst seven entries.
That has led to Stoute quickly securing the services of Doyle for Crystal Ocean and the rider can’t wait to familiarise himself with highest-rated performer in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse rankings.
“Any sort of ride you pick up in a big race is always nice, but to pick up a ride on a horse like him in a race like a King George – I’m absolutely ecstatic,” the jockey told Sky Sports Racing. “I’m going to sit on him on Saturday morning and I can’t wait really. “He looks an absolute dream to ride.
He looks very uncomplicated, which is always nice.” Crystal Ocean is 4.00 to win the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while Enable is favourite at 1.67.