Hollie Doyle Picks Up Saudi Cup Mount On Extra Elusive

Rising star of the saddle Hollie Doyle will compete in the stc International Jockeys Challenge (IJC) on Friday, Feb. 19, before reuniting with Roger Charlton’s Extra Elusive a day later in The Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racecourse.

Doyle, who will line up alongside 13 other leading jockeys in the IJC, is hoping her recent overseas experiences will stand her in good stead:

“I’m really excited to be riding in Saudi. I’ve had a few international trips recently, including Hong Kong, America and Bahrain, and it’s great that I’m getting to go to these big meetings around the world.

“Competing in the jockey challenge events is really cool as you get to ride alongside some of the world’s top athletes. I’ve only been to some of these places for a short period of time but I’ve learnt a lot. That’s what will hopefully make me a better jockey and I’ll keep taking these opportunities with both hands.”

The 24-year-old rider enjoyed a remarkable 2020, riding her first Royal Ascot winner in June, first Group winner in July and first Group 1 success in October – a month that saw her shatter her own British record for a female jockey of 117 winners in a calendar year. Doyle also became the first British female jockey to ride a five-timer in England, a winner on Champions Day at Ascot and a winner in Hong Kong.

“Last year was unbelievable, and when you get a taste of success it makes you want it even more. I’ve now got even more drive and ambition to succeed in 2021.”

Roger Charlton’s Extra Elusive formed part of Doyle’s Windsor five-timer, and the two are set to join forces again for a crack at The Saudi Cup, the world’s most valuable race at $20m.

“It looks as though Extra Elusive has got into The Saudi Cup, so I’d be really excited about riding him in that on the Saturday. The prize money goes all the way down to tenth so it would be great if he took his chance there and could get amongst it.

“I’d like to think he’ll handle the dirt as he goes well on slow ground here in England. I’m not sure how similar it would ride to a slow turf track, but I’d prefer to ride him on the dirt than I would on the turf as you’d imagine it will be slower. The Saudi Cup is only nine furlongs, and we know he stays further than that.

“I could have Albadri on the Saturday too, as I know Jane Chapple-Hyam is hoping to go for the Al Rajhi Bank Saudi Derby after his win at Southwell recently. He’s a lightly-raced horse that’s going the right way at the moment, but he’ll need to take another big step forward to get competitive.”

Extra Elusive’s trainer, Charlton, said: “There’s been a bit of toing and froing but he’s going to run in The Saudi Cup.

“We got an invite to The Saudi Cup that we weren’t really expecting and, having discussed it with the owner, he’s very keen to run in it. The prize money is so much more than the Middle Distance Turf [Neom Turf Cup] – if you finish tenth in The Saudi Cup, it’s the same prize money for finishing second in the turf race.

“Over 1800m they’ll go very, very quick and the kickback will be something he hasn’t experienced before. We’re hoping we can get amongst the money.

“In the past he has inclined to be up at the front making the running – this obviously won’t be the case so a wider draw would probably be beneficial to keep him out of the kickback.”

Extra Elusive won two Group 3s – the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock and Windsor’s Winter Hill Stakes – last summer, when Doyle was in the saddle. He was last seen when sixth behind Addeybb in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.

Charlton added: “He’s been pretty consistent and he won his two Group 3s well last year. He was placed in another and the ground wouldn’t have suited him in the Champion Stakes but he ran a good, consistent race again.

“My concern is that he hasn’t travelled abroad yet and he’s a fairly highly-strung individual. It’s how he takes a 16-hour journey door-to-door and how he handles the training on the track out there.

“He had a break after the end of last season and the weather hasn’t been very helpful to us – we’ve had snow here twice. He didn’t resume exercise until after Christmas and it’s been a steady build-up. He does all his training by himself but he seems in good form. It’s important that he’s in a consistent and steady routine every day.”

This year’s stc International Jockeys Challenge takes place on Friday, Feb. 19 – the day before the $20million Saudi Cup. Jockeys will be made up of seven international women, two local men and five international men. The prize money in each of the four races will be $400,000 and there is a $100,000 prize pot for the Challenge with $30,000 going to the winner.

11 of the 14 riders have now been confirmed:

Sibylle Vogt, 25 (SUI)

Jorge Ricardo, 59 (BRA)

Jessica Marcialis, 30 (ITA)

Maria Lujan Asconiga, 27 (ARG)

Nieves Garcia, 43 (SPA)

Cristian Demuro, 28 (ITA)

Nanako Fujita, 23 (JPN)

Malin Holmberg, 30 (SWE)

Shane Foley, 32 (IRE)

William Buick, 32 (UK)

Hollie Doyle, 24 (UK)

For more information on The Saudi Cup including Entries, Past Performances and Where to Watch: www.thesaudicup.com.sa

The post Hollie Doyle Picks Up Saudi Cup Mount On Extra Elusive appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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