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Aiming to spoil the Winter Party in the Nassau

2 Aug 2017

Oisin Murphy at Goodwood.

We roll into day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and with the weather taking a turn for the worse I’m sure there’ll be plenty of people swapping their panama hats for umbrellas!

I start the day aboard Archetype for Simon Crisford. I won well on him at Sandown last time and although he’s had a bit of a hike in the weights I still feel confident he’ll give a good account of himself tomorrow.

He probably doesn’t want very soft ground but should be fine to handle anything of the good to soft variety. Simon’s horses are in great order too which always helps!

Up next is the Lillie Langtry Stakes in which my employers Qatar Racing are very well represented with three in the race. I’ve chosen to ride Melodic Motion who is a filly that’s clearly on the upgrade having won her last three races on the trot.

I don’t think she’ll take much notice of the softer conditions and I’m very hopeful that she’ll take another step forward again tomorrow. I certainly wouldn’t swap her for anything in the race.

In the feature Qatar Nassau Stakes I get aboard a filly I know well, Blond Me.

She ran a cracker – probably a career best – when winning the Middleton Stakes up at York last time out on yielding ground, beating Queen’s Trust in the process. Given all the rain we’ve had today I fancy her to outrun her odds again.

She certainly goes well fresh and I believe Andrew (Balding) and the team are really happy with how her preparation has gone off a two-month break. She’s very professional and I think she ticks a lot of boxes.

Of the more fancied runners you can’t help but be a huge admirer of Winter. I’m a big Game of Thrones fan and I can already foresee there being a torrent of “Winter has Come” lines being rolled out across social media tomorrow if she wins the race!

So Mi Dar and Queen’s Trust are both very classy too but all of their best form has come on Good ground or better.

Next up I ride Brain Meehan’s Barbarianatthegate – I felt after his last run that he’d definitely appreciate cut in the ground so the rain today won’t be an issue. He’s got a good draw in stall two and is a nice uncomplicated ride; hopefully I can keep things simple and he’ll be able to get a fair run. It does look a very competitive affair though.

I finish the day on Maakaasib. He won last time on the Polytrack at Kempton and all of his recent runs have come on the all-weather. Some may view that as a negative but I don’t take that as an indication that he doesn’t have an appetite for racing on turf.

He’s in there off a nice weight, the step down to five furlongs won’t be an issue and I’m hopeful that he’ll be able to produce a strong run.