Career highlight: His hugely successful partnership with Champion Miler Kingman.
Interesting fact: James’s sister, Sophie, is a successful jockey in America.
As the son of former trainer Jacqueline Doyle, James grew up around thoroughbred racehorses and was destined
He had his first professional ride in 2004 but had to wait until June 2005 for his first winner. The next three seasons delivered a much better rate of success, but that fell again in 2009 and 2010. At that stage, the young jockey could not find enough rides and considered throwing in the towel; briefly considering an alternative career as a plumber.
Things turned around for the better in 2011 and by March 2012, James had landed his first top-level race on the international stage in Dubai. A remarkable 890/1 hat-trick of winners at Royal Ascot in 2013 saw his name up in lights on home soil and he has never looked back since. Today he is one of the most sought-after riders in the sport.
Ascot Racecourse has thus far been the scene of the majority of James’s big wins on home turf. One victory in particular stands out: riding Frankel’s brother, Noble Mission, to win the Champion Stakes in 2014 for trainer Jane Cecil, who took over the stable after her husband and late trainer of Frankel, Sir Henry Cecil, died earlier that same year.
James has also won top-level races in Australia and Canada.
He is currently second jockey to the Godolphin racing operation and, so far, has over 1,170 wins to his name.