James Doyle is looking forward to joining forces with Aidan O’Brien for the first time in his career when partnering Spirit Of Valour in the Keno Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield this weekend.
The in-demand 30-year-old will swap his more familiar Godolphin blue silks for those of the Coolmore team when getting the leg up aboard the four year old in the Group Two prize.
Doyle – who came so close to Arc glory last weekend with Sea Of Class – said: “I’ve never ridden for Aidan O’Brien before, but I have got my first ride for him on Spirit Of Valour at the weekend.
“I was meant to ride for them (Coolmore) one day in the July Cup, but the horse ended up being a non runner. Obviously when you are competing all the time against them, it is nice to get the call up to ride for them.
“I don’t know too much about the horse, but I’ve seen him race a fair bit and his last run was pretty good.”
Doyle will bid for more top-level glory Down Under aboard the Charlie Appleby-trained Jungle Cat in the Aquis Toorak Handicap, having triumphed aboard the son of Iffraaj in a seven-furlong Group One at the Melbourne track last month.
He said of the Godolphin runner: “It is going to be tough, as it is a Group One handicap and he has gone up in the weights a small bit. Hopefully he will improve going up to the mile.
“He has never run over that trip, but I think it will suit him with the fast early pace and the steady middle pace of the race. He has got a nice draw, which will also help.”