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Kicking On to the Winners’ enclosure on Gold Cup Day

19 Jun 2019

Oisin Murphy

On Thursday, I kick off with Air Force Jet in the Norfolk Stakes. He had a hold up before his last win but Joseph was keen to get a run – and particularly a win – into him before coming to Ascot. They’ve been happy with him at home, he hasn’t run on softish ground – it was Good to Yielding when he won at Navan – but he’s by Charm Spirit so we would be hopeful that he goes on it.

Tactically, Joseph will probably leave it up to me but we’re drawn pretty close to Sunday Sovereign, the favourite who’s in 10 and he made all last time so I think he’ll be a good one to follow.

In the Hampton Court Stakes, I ride Kick On. He got a little bit warm when he ran in France last time and he needs to bounce back to his earlier form when winning the Fielden Stakes. Fox Chairman who I’ve been riding work at home has been really pleasing and we’re delighted with him and I think Headman who represents very strong handicap form from the London Gold Cup goes there with a strong chance.

Sparkle Roll, who was disappointing at York, is my ride in the Ribblesdale and she’s another that will need to bounce back. I’m hopeful that she can take a step back in the right direction. I thought Fleeting ran a cracking race in the Oaks but I think Queen Power is the one to beat. She’s done absolutely nothing wrong, she won a maiden last year for Ralph Beckett and she ran a great race at Ascot on the round course when just being pipped by Muchly – I wouldn’t be swapping Queen Power for anything!

The Britannia Stakes is usually an exciting race and I take the ride on King Ademar. He’s still a maiden and he got put up 6lbs for placing again the other day. He’s been slightly unlucky not to win but the ground is a concern as he’s a son of Scat Daddy. However, former Commonwealth Cup winner Caravaggio was by the same sire and he handled soft ground pretty well, as did No Nay Never; but lots of Scat Daddy’s don’t want cut in the ground. I also think that Velorum off a mark of 96 is potentially very well treated.

In the last I’m really pleased to have picked up Good Birthday for King Power. I’m unable to ride Sinjaari this time, but I think he will have a cracking chance although being drawn 22 is going to make it tough. He actually lost a shoe when I rode him last time so he did very well to finish as close as he did. He’s up 8lbs for that but I think it’s deserved. Fox Premier has been working really well so will hold every chance out of stall 2. But I’m very happy with my draw in 7 and he’s definitely got a strong each-way chance at 16/1.