Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy has stayed away from the Stewards' Cup in favour of finding winners at Newmarket and he talks you through his rides in his weekend blog.
Newmarket Saturday Rides
12.55 - Oslo
He was a little bit disappointing at Yarmouth when last behind Tsar, but he doesn’t have a bad profile and should be competitive off a mark of 80. I’d say he has as good a chance as anything really. I chose to ride at Newmarket instead of Goodwood as I thought it would be less competitive, but with William Buick riding on the July Course, too, it won’t be easy to ride winners there.
2.05 - Mahale
She’s quite a tough filly, I don’t think she’s done anything wrong. She was a little outpaced at Windsor over five furlongs and she’s worth forgiving her Super Sprint run as it can be a funny race and she was in the stalls quite a long time. This looks a good race for her and hopefully I can get a tow off Basilicata who is drawn close by.
2.40 - Indian Creek
He’s another tough horse and though he didn’t run too well at Sandown it was a competitive race and the handicapper has dropped him 1lb. He’s versatile track-wise, he’s finished fourth on the Rowley Mile and I think he can run a good race. Baashir is lightly-raced but 86 looks high enough for what he achieved at Sandown.
3.15 - Katara
I’m really looking forward to riding her. She obviously won well at Kempton last time out. I’ve ridden Expressionism before, she’s a big galloper and I’d expect William to go forward on her and set a nice pace, but the three-year-old fillies get a nice weight allowance here and I’d be disappointed if Katara isn’t bang there. I was impressed with the way Cosmic Princess finished off at Newbury, she probably is a black type filly and I fear her more than anything.
It’s my first time on Withhold and I’m looking forward to it. Moonlight Spirit will probably go forward and Vivid Diamond, so it will be interesting to see what Roger Charlton thinks before the race, regarding how I should ride him. He hasn’t really hit his best form this season but things probably haven’t fallen right for him and this looks a good race for him. He’s won both his starts at Newmarket, on the Rowley Mile, so he should be just fine on the July Course.
4.25 Rhythmic Intent
He deserves to be favourite after winning so well for me at York last time. One niggle I have is that I don’t see a lot of pace in the race and he is a strong traveller, I like to get him to relax if I can. Hopefully Natty Night will make the pace. Mayfair Spirit comes here on the back of a win so he looks a danger, with Make Haste Slowly respected, too, but my fellow won very well at York and I think there’s a lot of upside to him.
Goodwood – Stewards’ Cup
I could’ve ridden half of the field in the Stewards’ Cup, but it’s just important I get winners on the board which is why I chose to ride at Newmarket.
However, I have had a good look at the Goodwood feature.
Nahaarr was a little bit disappointing at Ascot when he pulled too hard but he made amends when bolting up at Newbury. He deserves to be favourite.
Gulliver is a strong traveller and, interestingly, Nahaarr is drawn away from a lot of the fancied runners. I’d say Hey Jonesy will go forward, he might give Nahaarr a tow from 15.
I could’ve ridden Kimifive and this race will suit him. It’s just if he can follow the right ones through from stall one.
Watan was good on his seasonal reappearance and has a chance. Swindler’s another one I could’ve ridden and he’s a little bit dodgy going down to the start but once he’s in the stalls he’s a pro, he fits the profile well.
Summerghand has been in good form, Danny Tudhope rides him when he could’ve gone anywhere on Saturday, he was very good at Pontefract one start ago then a bit disappointing at Newbury last time.
Danzeno’s another one I could’ve ridden, goes forward, it’s good to see Ali Rawlinson back on him, he’s getting old but he’s off a mark he can win off off 105.
Barbill I won on last time, he’s a tough horse but is probably better with juice in the ground but he fits the profile very well.
And don’t forget Stone Of Destiny off 95. He’s very well handicapped. A strong pace will suit him and he can be in and out, it’s all about getting him settled.
He has to win sooner or later for a horse with such a high level of ability, when everything else is off the bridle he’ll be swinging away.
Snow can be Queen in Lillie Langtry
Just one final word on Goodwood, as I think Snow is overpriced in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes.
Enbihaar was disappointing at Newbury last time on soft ground, she needs to bounce back and at even money I’d be looking elsewhere.
I’m not sure about Manuela De Vega on faster ground, either, but Snow will love it and she’s a tough hardy filly getting plenty of weight from the older horses.
She has to prove she stays but she’s a full-sister to Kew Gardens and I think she’ll love it, so it’s surprising to see her at such a big price.
Sunday – Deauville
I’m at Deauville on Sunday to ride Johnny Murtagh’s Know It All in the Group One Prix Rothschild.
She’s a daughter of Lord Kanaloa, she’s a really nice filly and I’m looking forward to it. It’s obviously a competitive race with Watch Me, a Group One winner at Ascot, in there as well as Half Light, who is going for a four-timer albeit stepping up markedly in class.
I haven’t sat on Know It All but I’ve watched all her runs and she clearly stays a mile well judging by her last win at Leopardstown. She travelled very well and got there easily, so she looks worth stepping up in class getting 8lb off the older horses.
It could be tactical, I’d like to get cover off Summer Romance who made all last time at Epsom, so hopefully William will let her roll forward again and I can get some cover.
On the undercard I ride one for Eoin O’Neill, a filly called Jubilation, in race two, the Darley Prix de Cabourg.
She’s had two seconds from two runs with no excuses, but she looks nice.
Mighty Gurkha, for Archie Watson and Hollie Doyle, is probably the key to the race if he goes in the stalls, he can be a little bit difficult at the start.
I don’t think it’s a very strong race to be honest, so my filly might well have a chance and it’s important for me to get a feel of the track before I ride Know It All.
More from Oisin Murphy
- Goodwood Festival: Days 3 & 4
- Goodwood Festival: Days 1 & 2
- Column 18: King George weekend
- Column 17: Mount Rushmore
- Column 16: Major Threat
- Column 15: Highest ambition
- Column 14: D-Day for Kameko
- Column 13: Awesome chance
- Royal Ascot: Day five rides
- Royal Ascot: Day four rides
- Royal Ascot: Day three rides
- Royal Ascot: Day two rides
- Royal Ascot: Day one rides
- Column Seven: Kameko all class
- Column Six: A Classic weekend
- Column Five: Racing resumption
- Column Four: Sticky situations
- Column Three: Oisin Murphy's favourite horses
- Column Two: Oisin Murphy's 2020 vision
- Column One: Getting to know Oisin Murphy