Jockey of the moment Doyle wants to be master of English classics

James Doyle has set his sights on an unprecedented sweep of all five English classics after becoming just the fifth jockey in the modern era to achieve the 1000/2000 Guineas double (AFP/Adrian DENNIS) (Adrian DENNIS)

James Doyle, emboldened by becoming the first jockey since 2015 to achieve the Guineas double, wants to go one better than legends Lester Piggott and Steve Cauthen in sweeping all five English classics in a season.

The eloquent 34-year-old's talent has never been in doubt, as shown by his many Group One victories since his first in 2012.

However, in winning his first English classics at the weekend -- Coroebus in the 2000 Guineas and Cachet in the 1000 Guineas -- he has put himself on a different plane and allowed him to dream of making history if he triumphs in the Epsom Oaks, Derby and St Leger.

Piggott won four of the five in 1970, missing out in the Oaks, while American Cauthen's quartet came in 1985.

Doyle has come a long way since as a 16-year-old amateur rider he recalls "doing one of my French GCSE exams and I had to run around the corner to the racetrack afterwards!"

"It would be great to do the quintuple but you can't be too greedy can you," said Doyle after dismounting from Cachet on Sunday.

"We'll take this on board and whatever will be, will be."

Doyle, a more measured but equally effective ambassador for the sport as the effervescent Frankie Dettori, is not one to turn a blind eye when offered advice -- especially from his mother, former trainer Jacqueline Doyle.

"To have these big crowds back and to feel the racing atmosphere like it once was is just incredible and it's something that my mother has always said to me," he said.

"I remember winning on Cityscape (his first Group One winner in 2012 in the Dubai Duty Free), she didn't feel that I quite took in everything and that's why on Saturday I just took myself off on my own on Coroebus when I pulled up just to have a moment to really reflect on it.

"That was probably why I got quite emotional, actually."

- 'So ruthless' -

Doyle describes the weekend as a "complete blur and whirlwind" as he became only the fifth jockey in the modern era to complete the Guineas double, and the first since Ryan Moore seven years ago. Australian George Moore was the first back in 1967.

"It's incredible and I have to say yesterday (Saturday) was just incredible, I've ridden some big winners around the world but I've never felt a feeling like that," said Doyle.

Doyle is unlikely to let the rare double go to his head, not just because of his relatively advanced age but also because he has experienced the school of hard knocks in getting to where he is.

He admitted in 2019 that in the years before linking up with Cityscape's trainer Roger Charlton he was "certainly very low".

"It's very funny how things work out, this game is a hard one in that sometimes it can be so ruthless and it can be tough on you," Doyle said on Sunday.

"Other times when the cards fall in the right direction they fall in your favour as we've seen today."


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