A “champion jockey in waiting” was the verdict of connections after Hollie Doyle made the perfect start to her new association with Derby-winning owner Imad Al Sagar at Lingfield on Tuesday.
Tony Nerses, racing and bloodstock adviser for Blue Diamond Stud, expressed his delight after Doyle steered three-year-old newcomer Faisal to an emphatic victory in division two of a 10-furlong maiden at the Surrey track.
“We had a lovely winner and Hollie rode the race to perfection – I’ve not seen a better ride at Lingfield in a long while,” he said.
“Faisal’s future is bright and she is a jockey going places as well.
“It’s a coup on both sides I guess. She is a lovely girl with a great personality and is very easy to get on with.
“We’d been looking at her for a while and I think we’ve got the right person. I’m delighted to have her as part of our Blue Diamond team. She will be a credit to us.
“She’s a champion jockey in waiting. I believe that.”
The imposing Faisal, a son of Golden Horn trained by John Gosden, could be a key horse for the new team, in the silks made famous by Authorized at Epsom in 2007.
“Faisal has been a late developer. He’s got the size and the scope,” said Nerses.
“He’s from a decent family. The grandam (Loulwa) was a Listed winner and she produced Justineo. He won three Listed races and was Group Two placed. He was speedy and had bags of ability. Loulwa was a one-mile-five-furlong winner and Justineo was a five-furlong horse.
“Faisal has speed, stamina and a turn of foot. He has a huge stride on him. He is a beautiful stamp of a horse and there is better to come. He has to fill into himself.
“We haven’t discussed plans yet, but I think we will take it step by step, cautiously – but he is a horse to be reckoned with in the future.”
That was only Doyle’s second ride for her new retainer. The first was just half an hour earlier on Amtiyaz, who was second in division one of the maiden on his racecourse debut and also from the Gosden stable.
“He was very green and he ran a tremendous race as well. We were very happy with that,” said Nerses.
“He was very raw and has a lot to learn. He is by Frankel and is from the family of Goldikova. He’ll be a nice horse in time.
“He needs a couple of runs to wake him up.”