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Hollie Doyle blog: Nashwa and Bradsell among stellar weekend rides!

It’s the biggest weekend of the season so far for our ambassador who rides Bradsell and The Platinum Queen at Haydock Park plus Nashwa in France, the latter live on Sky Sports Racing.

Bradsell in top form for Haydock assignment

The biggest weekend of my year so far gets underway at Haydock Park on Saturday when my Royal Ascot hero BRADSELL and my Group 1 star The Platinum Queen returns to action just 24 hours before Classic winner Nashwa gets her season underway in France.

Bradsell has been working well since coming back from injury to run such a promising race in the Commonwealth Cup Trial at Ascot a few weeks ago. I’ve sat on him a few times at Archie Watson’s Lambourn base and we’re all very happy with his progress.

Doyle heads back into the winner's enclosure on Coventry Stakes winner Bradsell
Image: Doyle heads back into the winner’s enclosure on Coventry Stakes winner Bradsell

The Group 2 Betfred Nifty Fifty Sandy Lane Stakes (3.00) is a hot renewal with Cold Case, who beat us last time, and Aidan O’Brien’s Group 1 winner Little Big Bear reverting to sprinting after disappointing in the Guineas.

Despite getting tired deep into his comeback race, Bradsell was beaten little more than a length and as you’d expect has tightened up for that first run since suffering an injury in the Phoenix Stakes last August. The ground’s dried up at Haydock, too, so everything should be in place for another big performance en route to his return to Group 1 company in the Commonwealth Cup itself at the Royal Meeting next month.

The Platinum Queen call-up a nice surprise

It’s such a nice surprise to keep the ride on my Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye winner THE PLATINUM QUEEN in the Group 2 Betfred Temple Stakes (3.30) at Haydock. She gave me one of my greatest moments in the saddle when we won in France in October and I’m grateful to her new owner Mr Katsumi Yoshida and her new trainer Roger Varian for keeping our partnership intact.

I had the pleasure of riding for Mr Yoshida during my spell in Japan last year and would love to get off to a flying start in the Temple before we head to Royal Ascot in pursuit of another top-level success in the King’s Stand Stakes.

White Lavender chases home The Platinum Queen in the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp
Image: White Lavender chases home The Platinum Queen in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp

I haven’t ridden The Platinum Queen this year so I can’t tell you how she’s wintered but she couldn’t be in better hands and this looks an ideal starting point with underfoot conditions to her liking. It’s always a tough race and this year is no exception with 2022 King’s Stand runner-up Twilight Calls in the line-up.

I’m also a fan of Richard Hannon’s filly Happy Romanc, who returned from Dubai to win a Listed race at Bath last month and could easily be one of those at bigger prices to run a massive race.

Nashwa felt great in Newmarket work-out

I called into John and Thady Gosden’s Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket last week to ride work on my Classic winner NASHWA ahead of her re-appearance in France on Sunday and came away with a big smile on my face.

She felt great stretching out on one of the grass gallops and has that same professional mentality that stood her in such good stead in her three-year-old season, when we won the French Oaks and the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

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Owner Imad Alsagar says the Arc could be the ultimate aim for Nashwa ahead of her seasonal reappearance in France this weekend

The Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud, live on Sky Sports Racing, looks the perfect starting point for my boss Imad Alsagar’s lovely filly, who takes on her own sexes and escapes a penalty.

It will be a good test with Joseph O’Brien’s Above The Curve likely to be making her seasonal return. She finished just behind us when we were second and third in the Prix de l’Opera.

Fact-finding mission for Hills colt

Before I fly to Paris I’ve also got some nice chances to look forward to in the supporting races on Haydock’s stellar card on Saturday, including Charlie Hills’s three-year-old BODORGAN.

He did nothing but improve last year so the Betfred Silver Bowl Handicap (2.25) should be a good indicator of where he stands at the start of his new campaign. His opening mark of 87 looks high enough but Milteye, who finished just behind him in a Newmarket novice at the end of October, has won at Redcar this week to give the form a timely boost.

I’m also expecting a nice run from Alan King’s THUNDER AHEAD in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Florida Handicap (1.15). He’s fit from running over hurdles and on the All-Weather and Alan’s got his team in good form.

Later, I’m hoping Ed Walker’s DE BRUYNE can build on his comeback run in soft ground at Salisbury when he lines up for the Betfred Double Delight Edge Green Handicap (4.10).

He’s still lightly raced and could be well enough treated off a mark of 75 to show the kind of promise that won him a Newcastle novice in December.

I also ride ALEXANDER JAMES for Mick Appleby in the closing Betfred Hattrick Heaven New Boston Handicap (4.45).

His turf wins in France were on easy ground, but he does have form on a sounder surface and Mick will be hoping the addition of a tongue tie can give him that vital edge.


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