Hollie Doyle blog: Nashwa reflections after Meydan bid and remembering Stefano Cherchi | Racing News

Hollie Doyle’s blog is back and this week she looks ahead to her Saturday rides as well as paying a lovely tribute to fellow jockey Stefano Cherchi.


I am hoping it will be a big year for my boss Imad Alsagar’s INTINSO, who takes his chance in the Virgin Bet Every Saturday Money Back Rosebery Handicap (2.40) at Kempton on Saturday.

The good-looking, grey son of Siyouni looks a stronger individual with another winter on his back and, for a four-year-old, has few miles on the clock. Like my star mare Nashwa, he is trained in Newmarket by John and Thady Gosden, who look to have found another good opportunity for him on the All-Weather over this 1m3f trip.

He felt good when romping home in a Wolverhampton handicap on his seasonal reappearance last month, so an 8lb rise to a mark of 98 looks fair.

Though he steps back a furlong here, Kempton is a more galloping test for a horse who promises to stay further this year. In fact, he also holds an entry in a valuable 1m6f handicap on Guineas weekend at Newmarket next month.


It is always a pleasure to link up with Trueshan’s trainer Alan King, who has booked me for TRITONIC in the Virgin Bet Queen’s Prize Handicap (3.15) at Kempton. While his star stayer could reappear in next month’s Yorkshire Cup, Tritonic runs for the first time this year in this famous old race – only his second start on an All-Weather surface.

The seven-year-old, who showed his versatility by winning a novice chase in November, showed what a quality, dual-purpose performer he is when finishing third in last season’s Ascot Stakes at the Royal Meeting off a 3lb higher rating.

He has a good record fresh, and whilst we don’t have the best of draws in stall 13, we’ll have plenty of time to work our way into the race. Whatever happens, he’ll be sharper for this return to action.

Tritonic (right) skips clear at Kempton
Tritonic (right) skips clear at Kempton


Brian Ellison’s horses have been running well of late, so I’m looking forward to riding his NORTHERNER in the opening Virgin Bet Restricted Novice Stakes (1.30) at Kempton. I don’t know much about the filly yet, but there’s no doubt her only run so far at Wetherby last summer was really promising.

She pressed the winner all the way to the line that day, so stepping up slightly to 6f should suit her in a race where she will receive plenty of weight from all her rivals.

Doyle and Rhythm N Hooves (white and purple) win the Palace Of Holyrood House Stakes at Royal Ascot
Doyle and Rhythm N Hooves (white and purple) win the Palace Of Holyrood House Stakes at Royal Ascot


RHYTHM N HOOVES, who won me the Palace Of Holyroodhouse Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer, is set to have his first run of the year in the Try The Racing App This Afternoon Handicap (3.43) at Bath on Sunday.

Archie Watson has found him this valuable 5f handicap at the West Country track, though conditions look like being testing. His best form has been achieved on a sound surface, but we’re hoping for a prominent display from a horse who’s been working nicely on the Lambourn gallops and has done well physically over the winter.

Starting off a mark of 92, he’ll be aimed at some big sprint handicaps this summer.


It didn’t work out for Nashwa on her reappearance in the Group 1 Dubai Turf on World Cup night in Dubai last weekend, but I was really happy with her performance. Despite a bad draw, we were only beaten around four lengths in the £2.2 million showpiece, showing beyond doubt that she retains all her ability and enthusiasm going into an exciting summer campaign.

Options were limited from our starting position, so we took the decision to stay out wide in the first part of the race. I had to use a lot of energy to get to a prominent position but was right there a furlong out, until she got tired.

Hollie Doyle and Nashwa
Hollie Doyle and Nashwa

Nashwa showed last year that she needed a couple of runs to find her top form, so this is something to build on, with the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Stakes at York next month among her options.

She’s returned home to John and Thady Gosden’s Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket in good shape, and I can’t wait for our next assignment.

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Trainer Marco Botti paid tribute to jockey and fellow countryman Stefano Cherchi after his passing on Wednesday.


Like everyone in the racing family, I’m deeply saddened by the death of our weighing room colleague Stefano Cherchi at the tender age of 23 following a tragic fall in Australia.

Stefano was a fine rider and a true gentleman who touched everyone who knew him. He’d always message me to give me a few pointers whenever I was riding for Marco Botti or Amy Murphy, trainers he had close links with.

Kind and conscientious, and a friend to many, he will never be forgotten.

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