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Ballet dances to victory at just the right time for Doyle
16 Jul 2017 | 

Saturday is the richest day of the week for a jockey so if you're going to miss the next two it's probably worth getting a few quid in the bank – and that's just what James Doyle did.

He will have to watch from the sidelines for the next two weekends, thanks to a 'totting up' whip ban, triggered by his ride on Barney Roy in the Coral-Eclipse.

But Doyle made sure there will be something in the kitty to pay for a few days away by landing the £200,000 John Smith's Cup (2050m) at York on Ballet Concerto, 35 minutes after taking the £50,000 John Smith's Silver Cup on Rare Rhythm.

It has been a busy and successful summer for the jockey, thanks to major wins such as Big Orange, Hawkbill and Barney Roy, and he reflected: "I'll go away and recharge, I've been quite busy over the last few weeks so I'll have a little break.

"I'll be watching plenty of racing - it's frustrating to watch but you have to pay attention to what's going on to keep your form book up to date."

The jockey can be forgiven for watching this race again a few times too, as he was always in the right place on the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Royal Hunt Cup fourth Ballet Concerto, who took the step up in trip in his stride.

"I rode him before when he won a handicap at Yarmouth so I knew a bit about him," Doyle said. "He was stepping up in trip but we didn't go that quick.

"There were a lot of horses on top of each other, there was a little bit of scrimmaging and we had to fight our corner a little bit early on, but this is always quite a rough race.

"He travelled supremely well throughout and quickened up just enough to put the race to bed."

Renewing old acquaintance

Doyle was having his first ride of the year for Stoute, who was a strong ally when he was retained by Khalid Abdullah.

"To win for a trainer like Sir Michael is brilliant," he said. "This is a horse with a lot of talent. I think a mile and a quarter is about his trip - he has the speed for a mile but at a mile and a quarter he travels that much better and can use his turn of foot."

The 7lb claimer Raymond Dawson is some way behind Doyle in experience but grabbed his chance on Big Country, who was beaten just three-quarters of a length into second.

"He ran an absolute cracker but the winner came up on the outside and he was travelling very strongly, in another half a furlong he might have got there," he said.

Trainer Mick Appleby was full of praise for the apprentice and said: "Raymond kept his nerve, he's cool and calm and he's a good lad - he'll be going places."

Mistiroc was just a neck further away in third at 50-1 and trainer John Quinn said: "I very seldom bet but I couldn't see why he was 50-1, he was beaten five lengths at Royal Ascot and the winner won the previous race here."







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