James Doyle To Ride Crystal Ocean In King George

James Doyle has picked up the ride on Crystal Ocean in next week's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, as Frankie Dettori - who rode him last time out to land the Prince Of Wales's Stakes, sticks with his superstar Enable.

After that win the Sir Michael Stoute trained five-year-old was handicapped to be the best horse in the world after earning a mark of 127 when landing the Royal Ascot Group One and first black type of his career.

The dual Arc winner Enable will receive 3lb from Crystal Ocean going off a mark of 124 if she is to go for the race but as it stands it looks as if it will act as a nice prep run for the feature Group One in France later this year.

Enable is the ante-post 4/6 favourite to take the Ascot highlight on Saturday 27th but it will be her stiffest test of the season, after coming through the Coral Eclipse at Sandown with flying colours and looks set for another big year.

Crystal Ocean has never been joined by James Doyle in the saddle but the rider knows all about the horse after beating him last season in the same race on board Sir Michael Stoute's other superstar Poet's Word in what was a thrilling renewal of the race.

Doyle's agent George Baker said on Wednesday morning: "He is riding Crystal Ocean in the King George. I spoke to Sir Michael’s office at the weekend and it was confirmed yesterday.”

Crystal Ocean in his three wins this season at Sandown, Newbury and Ascot has been ridden by Ryan Moore twice and then Frankie Dettori at the royal meeting.

With Dettori occupied and Moore set to ride one of Aidan O'Brien's seven entries in the feature Group One contest, Doyle has been gifted an opportunity.

Last year's King George was a superb contest between stablemates and Crystal Ocean was ridden by William Buick that day, but with his injury he is another jockey missing out on the ride.

If Godolphin's Masar was not announced to go to stud it could have been the same case for the Doyler.

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