© Photo Healy RacingHollie Doyle set the seal on her new association with owner Imad Al Sagar as she steered Extra Elusive to Group Three glory in the BetVictor Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock.
Doyle was appointed as the owner’s retained rider at the end of July and they enjoyed their first winner together with just their second runner earlier this week, with Extra Elusive a first Pattern race runner for the team.
The Roger Charlton-trained five-year-old appeared to have plenty on his plate in attempting to turn the tables with the odds-on favourite Global Giant from their recent meeting at Newbury.
Doyle went to the front on Extra Elusive, setting what appeared to be a steady pace and with two furlongs to run, the duo looked a sitting duck as the challengers mounted up.
They included Global Giant who came widest of all, but Frankie Dettori soon went from looking confident to sending out the distress signals.
Certain Lad, runner-up in the John Smith’s Cup, came out of the pack to get closest, but Extra Elusive (11-2) was a comfortable winner at the line, triumphing by two and a quarter lengths.
Doyle said: “He has a tendency to pull quite hard and there was no pace in the race, so Roger and the owners said ‘just go forward and ride him where he’s happy and relaxed’.
“He switched off beautifully, I got into a good rhythm and the further he went the better.
“He gave me a good feel. He’s a nice horse who will stay a mile and a half.”
On the link up with the owners, she added: “It came from completely out of the blue. I couldn’t have got off to a better start really.
“I’m having a good season. Hopefully we can keep it going.”
Charlton hailed Doyle’s ride and admitted he had plenty of faith in his charge before the race.
He said: “I didn’t see any reason why he couldn’t turn the form around with the favourite — we pulled for three furlongs at Newbury and got beaten a length.
“I thought we had every chance today, to be honest with you. He settled very well in front and Hollie gave him a great ride.
“There was a moment when I thought he might get not keep going, but he hit a flat spot and picked up and at the line he was possibly going away. We’ve always thought he could stay a mile and a half if he relaxed.
“I’m pleased, because he needed to win another race — he’s been placed too many times and not winning.
“It’s really good for Hollie and the owners. She hasn’t ridden much for me, apart from one or two lightweights, but she’s demonstrating her skills on a daily basis with the winners she’s riding.
“I think she’s very brave, I think she’s very strong and she’s obviously small, so there are no weight issues — apart from me carrying the weight cloth with the tack on!
“She’s doing fantastically well. It’s great for her profession and great for all the girls — it encourages everybody as she’s right up there with the best.”
Charlton is uncertain on future plans, adding: “I don’t know where we’ll go from here.
“There are very few Group races, so whether we go for another Group Three or a Group Two, I don’t know.
“There’s nothing obvious — he’s not going to be running in the Juddmonte International.
“He wouldn’t necessarily be the best horse to travel abroad, and it’s not that easy to travel abroad at the moment anyway, so I’m guessing we’ll probably stay back and see what comes up.”