Sophie Doyle: Flying High in America

Fioretti and Sophie Doyle win the G3 Thoroughbred Club of America. Keeneland photo.

Fioretti and Sophie Doyle win the G3 Thoroughbred Club of America. Keeneland photo.

On the Friday of Breeders’ Cup weekend, Sophie Doyle was enjoying a rare recreational day at the racetrack. She’d been out in the morning as usual to work horses at Keeneland, then traded her riding clothes for a dress and heels to watch her brother James ride Birchwood in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf for trainer Richard Fahey.

They finished third by less than a length at odds of 18-1, a satisfying finish, said Sophie. But one gets the feeling that nothing less than a win on her own Breeders’ Cup longshot mount would elicit the same reaction on Saturday afternoon.

Doyle makes her Breeders’ Cup début today in the $1m Filly and Mare Sprint, riding the mare that brought her her first graded stakes victory, in the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America over the same track that she’ll ride today.

Doyle paired up with Fioretti in May for the first time, riding her to a fifth-place finish in the Unbridled Sidney Stakes at Churchill Downs. Since then have come two wins and a second, and with them an ascension to the spotlight at one of North America’s most prestigious racing events.

“Going into the TCA, I was almost telling myself I can’t lose,” said Doyle. “I was beaming and smiling.

“And then after, it was just amazing, almost like, ‘How did that happen?’”

Continue reading at The Guardian...

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