James Doyle has ridden the winner of at least one QIPCO British Champions Series race every year since 2013.
He kept the sequence going in 2020 when swooping from off the pace aboard the John Gosden-trained Lord North in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. It was his third triumph in that mile-and-a-quarter feature, having previously won it on Al Kazeem in 2013 and Poet’s Word in 2018.
He won three Group 1 races in the space of six weeks on the brilliant Al Kazeem and there is no doubt that Roger Charlton’s tough horse helped advertise the rider’s talents to a wider audience.
The late Prince Khalid Abdullah employed Doyle as his No 1 jockey before Godolphin swooped to retain his services. Doyle’s ability on the track is matched by good communication skills and a helpful nature off it.
He has been fortunate to ride many other brilliant horses after Al Kazeem left the scene such as Kingman, Sea Of Class, Noble Mission, Night Of Thunder (above), Big Orange, Blue Point and Poet’s Word.
In total, he has ridden the winners of 16 Champions Series races.
Big Orange’s narrow defeat of Order Of St George in the 2017 Gold Cup was an epic, as was Poet’s Word’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO success back at Ascot the following year.
And in 2019, he guided Blue Point to a famous Royal double in the King’s Stand Stakes and then Diamond Jubilee five days later.
All a far cry from in 2010 when, with winners and rides drying up, he contemplated quitting the sport and even enrolled in a plumbing course. The plumbing industry’s loss has been racing’s gain!
Doyle’s mother, Jacqui, was a former trainer, and his sister, Sophie, is a successful rider in America.
Now 32, he has ridden almost 1300 winners in Britain.