James Doyle confirmed for Pinatubo in mouthwatering Prix du Moulin

Fri 4 Sep 2020

James Doyle will partner Pinatubo for the first time this season when he tackles five rivals in a fascinating renewal of the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Doyle steered Charlie Appleby’s top-class colt to win his first four victories last season including notable big-race wins in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Vintage at Goodwood.

William Buick took over in the saddle for the National Stakes at the Curragh and the Dewhurst at Newmarket, which sealed his status as the champion juvenile of 2019, and has been on board for each of his three starts this year.

 Doyle will be reunited with Pinatubo this weekend (Focusonracing)
Doyle will be reunited with Pinatubo this weekend (Focusonracing)

However, with Buick now free to partner Appleby’s stable star Ghaiyyath should he line up for the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown following a change to quarantine protocols in Ireland, Doyle has been called upon for Pinatubo’s French assignment.

Appleby said: “We are in a very privileged position to have two retained world-class jockeys in James and William.

“We have looked at the logistics of it all and hopefully how it’s going to work out. James is going to France on Sunday to ride Pinatubo, who he knows equally as well as William.

“James rode him during the week and was very pleased with him.”

While most people travelling back to Britain from France currently have to quarantine for two weeks under the current Covid-19 guidelines, Doyle is in the elite sportsman category, meaning he must remain isolated for only eight days, as long as two mandatory tests are returned clear.

“James also rides the two-year-old on Sunday (Naval Crown in the Prix la Rochette), so he’ll have two mounts. We have runners in France later in the week, but we’ll make a decision over the weekend on whether he’ll stay or come back and start his quarantine,” Appleby added.

Pinatubo suffered short-priced defeats on his first two starts this season, but was far from disgraced in finishing third in the 2000 Guineas and runner-up in the St James’s Palace Stakes.

He opened his three-year-old account in the seven-furlong Prix Jean Prat at Deauville in July, and Doyle is relishing the opportunity to renew his association with the exciting youngster this weekend.

Doyle said: “I haven’t ridden him since Goodwood last year, so it will be great to get back on board.

“I sat on him on Wednesday morning and he seems in good shape. There’s only the six runners on Sunday, but I think they’ve won 14 Group Ones between them, so it’s a pretty strong renewal to say the least.

“It would be great to get that Group One win over a mile with him. I’ll be having a week off when I come back from France, but if any horse is worth it, you’d think it would be Pinatubo.”

The son of Shamardal is one of three runners owned or part-owned by Godolphin along with Andre Fabre’s pair of Persian King and Victor Ludorum.

Aidan O’Brien’s Circus Maximus and Ken Condon’s Romanised were split by just a nose when first and second 12 months ago and renew rivalry under Ryan Moore and Billy Lee respectively.

The quality sextet is completed by the Ger Lyons-trained Irish 2,000 Guineas hero Siskin, the mount of Colin Keane.

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