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Royal Ascot

Kingman proves perfect for James Doyle's arrival amid royalty

For a young jockey who seriously considered abandoning the saddle for the plumbing business three years ago there is now plenty in the pipeline. On Thursday, 25-year-old James Doyle's appointment as Khaled Abdullah's No 1 was announced; yesterday, on his first ride in the dream job, he made the perfect start by steering the exciting prospect Kingman, favourite for next year's 2,000 Guineas, to victory in the Solario Stakes.

Kingman to stake claim as John Gosden's heir apparent

Summer's last will and testament was signed off on the July Course at Newmarket last weekend at the end of a dank afternoon with a performance by McFly. Autumn and the purer fare of the Rowley Mile, for all the controversial changes to the calendar, are nigh, with a new Classic generation rising.

Leading Light illuminates O'Brien St Leger chances

Ruler of the World and Trading Leather, the English and Irish Derby winners, were conspicuous by their absence at today’s entry stage for the St Leger, connections opting  instead to go the Irish Champion Stakes route and a drop back in distance. However, a profusion of  prospective late-bloomers stood their ground for the Doncaster classic,  including no fewer than 12 from Aidan O’Brien’s powerful stable.

‘Amazing’ Lethal Force speeds away to Newmarket course record

Of the weekend’s July Cup heroes, Lethal Force was easily the most  relaxed yesterday. The four-year-old enjoyed a lazy lead out to stretch the limbs that had carried him to his record-breaking Group One victory and a prolonged pick at grass to settle his rather fizzy mind, then spent the rest of the day chilling in the cool of his box. Meanwhile his trainer Clive Cox, after sorting out his entries for the rest of the week – it’s back to bread and butter at Lingfield on Wednesday – fielded interminable phone calls of inquiry and congratulation.

Sir John Hawkins can turn up heat at July Festival

For anyone who has wondered quite how the British Turf continues to seduce investment from the Gulf, perhaps a day at the July Festival at Newmarket might prove every bit as instructive as one spent among the pomp and pageantry of Ascot or Epsom. At a time of year when their homelands seem most arid, the sheikhs find themselves driven through avenues of trees between green paddocks to a racecourse full of shade and flowers. And if the quality of the sport is mixed, with plenty of maidens and handicaps as ballast to the elite contests, then there will be a corresponding air of relaxation over the next three afternoons – not least granted the benign weather forecast.

More headlines

Ed McMahon lowers stakes to raise Winning chance

Many trainers with limited resources can impress at a corresponding level, but the most instructive measure of their acuity is how they set about making the most of a horse eligible for higher grades. That is when you will often see them exposed, excitably shooting for the moon. In his campaigning of Winning Express, then, Ed McMahon must be commended in both raising and lowering the stakes.