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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Young and willing Doyle up for the season on return from travels

James Doyle: rides in Britain for the first time this year
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James Doyle is looking forward to performing back among the familiar surroundings of Newmarket as he takes his first rides of 2017 in Britain after a successful winter spent riding in Australia.

The Godolphin jockey says he "can't wait to get cracking" as he takes three rides on the opening day of the Craven meeting having arrived back on Monday from Sydney, where he partnered a Group 3 winner on Saturday.

Doyle, who fell out of favour with Saeed Bin Suroor last year, last rode in Britain in November having taken over as Godolphin's first choice jockey in Australia after James McDonald was sacked from the role following his suspension for a betting offence.

He missed five weeks due to hand and knee injuries but had ridden 21 winners before his recall to Britain for the start of an important Classic trial period for Godolphin.

Doyle said: "It was always the plan to come back for our season and it's good to be back. I can't wait to get cracking. I have a few rides this week at Newmarket and it's great to be back in familiar surroundings.

"Riding in Australia was a massive experience. The style of racing is very different to what we are used to. It took a couple of weeks to get the hang of it. I felt like I settled in quite well. I ended up with 21 winners and around a 19 per cent strike rate. I really enjoyed it.

"It's nice to do something different, I have been going to Dubai for the last seven winters where it is very much more our style of racing. It is great to challenge myself and it will definitely improve my riding going forward."

Doyle partners newcomers Mark Of Approval, for Godolphin, and Hugo Palmer two-year-old Never Back Down before riding the appropriately named Time Zone in the conditions race at 2.55, when it will be 12.55am in Sydney.

"As long as you get the first day right you tend to be all right with the jet lag," he said. "I landed on Monday morning and kept kicking through the day, went to bed at 10pm and slept all the way through. If you get the first night's sleep right you are away

"Time Zone could do no more than win on debut last year. It's quite a strong race and I think he needs to find a few pounds on ratings but you have to respect Peter Chapple-Hyam's decision to run him in a race like this. He obviously thinks he is a bit better than his mark."

Doyle, who turns 29 next week, could be in Britain until the autumn but is ready to fly back to Australia when required.

"Nothing is set in stone," he said. "It depends how the horses are shaping up here and over there. I will be where I can be of most use.

"Whilst it is a bit here and there I have to be prepared to jet off to Australia at fairly limited notice but I am young and enthusiastic and very up for it."

I can't wait to get cracking. I have a few rides this week at Newmarket and it's great to be back in familiar surroundings

Key data

James Doyle
E.W. Terms
Sky bet