As opportunities go, the one handed to James Doyle in this weekend’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe takes some beating.
Not many jockeys have had to discard a triple Group One winner heading into the European middle-distance championship – but that is the situation William Buick faced as he opted for Derby and King George hero Adayar over Hurricane Lane, who will now be partnered by Doyle in Paris as the second jockey to trainer Charlie Appleby.
Hurricane Lane’s sole career defeat came behind Adayar at Epsom and he has subsequently won the Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger.
Doyle knows what is required having gone agonisingly close to denying Enable a second Arc in 2018 aboard Sea Of Class – and is aware his mount ticks a lot of the boxes.
“It can’t have been an easy decision for Will. There’s not much between the two. It’s exciting,” said Doyle.
As is often the case in the days before the Arc, most of the talk is around the weather and plenty of rain is forecast.
“He’s proven on soft ground. It won’t worry him and the trip is fine. Back to a mile and a half should be perfect,” said Doyle.
“He’s won the Grand Prix de Paris round there, so he’s had a good look at the place before.”