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'It feels great!' - Hollie Doyle celebrates first Group win with Dame Malliot

Fresh from her first Royal Ascot winner last month, Hollie Doyle ticked the latest item off her bucket list after Dame Malliot gave the high-flying rider her first success at Group level in the Princess of Wales's Tattersalls Stakes.

Dame Malliot and Hollie Doyle win the Princess of Wales's Tattersalls Stakes, photo Francesca Altoft

Doyle rode more winners than any female in history with 116 in Britain last year and is already making inroads on that tally with 63 winners on the board for 2020.

Last month she gave Scarlet Dragon an inspired ride to land the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Ascot and she again took all the plaudits after taking Dame Malliot to the front with seven furlongs to run and fending off the challengers in rain-soaked ground.

"I've had plenty of rides in Group races but that's my first win and it feels great," said the 23-year-old. "It's excellent. I managed to tick Ascot off last month and it's great to now get this under my belt."

Reliving the race, Doyle added: "It was a muddling race for the first half mile and my filly has a massive stride. It wasn't benefiting her and she just wouldn't settle. I had a big decision to make to let her go on and, once I got to the front, she relaxed really well."

She added: "I kept her away from the others to allow me to dictate on my terms. They got racing quite soon but because I was on my own, I could hold on to my filly for a little longer. She's one of the best I've ridden and she's definitely got the potential to win a Group 1 somewhere around the world."  

The winner holds an entry at the highest level in Germany next month according to winning trainer Ed Vaughan, who was full of praise for the winning rider.

"I'm delighted for Hollie," he said. "She works hard and has a great record for me. She's got good hands, rides them with a good length of rein and I just love the way she rides."

Al Suhail back in business

Al Suhail showed his true colours in the Listed Bahrain International Sir Henry Cecil Stakes, erasing the memory of a disappointing effort in the 2,000 Guineas with an effortless six-length success.

Second in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes as a juvenile, Al Suhail had looked a lively outsider in the Guineas but managed to beat just one rival home.

He was back on song on this occasion, returning to the sort of form that saw him beaten only by Military March on the Rowley Mile last October.

"He was pleasing us before the Guineas – his homework has always been electric," said winning trainer Charlie Appleby. "The challenge with him is in himself and, mentally, he was very hard on himself in the Guineas.

"He was loaded up early and it was a big field – after three furlongs his race was run. We came here with confidence today and the smaller field has played to his favour. He has plenty of ability, the ground suited him and hopefully he's enjoyed the experience."

The winner was handed an opening show of 8-1 for the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood with Betfair Sportsbook, but Appleby may instead opt for a stepping stone before tackling Group 1 company again.

"He's only got a Listed win behind him and I could potentially take a softer route with him," said the trainer. "There're plenty of options and hopefully we'll work back from something punchier. The one thing William Buick said we did learn today is that he's a miler."

York next for promising Al Aasy

Al Aasy was once 'the Derby horse' and might yet be 'the St Leger horse', but he is definitely the Great Voltigeur horse and an individual with a bright future based on his emphatic victory in the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy.

Fate intervened to prevent Al Aasy from taking up his proposed place at Epsom for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, with the coronavirus crisis not giving connections sufficient time for trainer William Haggas to get the experience required into the handsome son of Sea The Stars.

“He was the Derby horse,” Maureen Haggas, wife of the winning trainer, said. “When William showed him to Sheikh Hamdan last year he said to him that this would be his Derby horse next year, but he didn’t have the experience for a race like that and it wouldn’t have been kind on the horse to ask him to go there. 

“William has always liked him – he’s a beautiful horse, and he’s bred to be a good horse. He ran really well first time last year and we were really disappointed when he ran like he did at Newmarket and we don’t know why, perhaps it was rustiness. He did what he needed to do last time and he’s improving and learning.”

Whether or not he gets a shot at the season’s final Classic will likely be answered at York next month, with Maureen Haggas not certain the 1m6½f trip at Doncaster would necessarily be to his liking.

She said: “I’d think a well-run mile and a half would suit him best, he’s not slow, and ideally faster ground than today. I think the Great Voltigeur would be the likely next step. There are a lot of good races he can go for and we hope to have him around next year as well. 

Paddy Power and Betfair both made Al Aasy an 8-1 chance to land the St Leger with the market headed by Irish Derby winner Santiago.

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