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Splendid Sussex Stakes to look forward to

31 Jul 2018

Oisin Murphy at Goodwood.

We roll into Day 2 of Goodwood and, luckily, I’ve got another busy day ahead of me with five rides booked.

I kick off in the 2.25 with Bartholomeu Dias for Charlie Hills. He’s an interesting character; he majorly misbehaved last time out at Goodwood when trying to bite another horse and has been gelded since. Hopefully that’ll help get his mind focused back on racing.

I won on him at Wolverhampton in April by a wide margin and, despite his double-figure odds, I think his handicap mark in this is very workable. If we can keep his mind on the straight and narrow then he could be a very interesting runner indeed.

Then in the Molecomb Stakes I ride Stuart Williams’ talented colt, Street Parade.

I really liked him when I rode him to finish second on his racecourse debut at Yarmouth and he’s done nothing wrong since then; winning on both subsequent starts nicely.

Stuart is having a really good summer; he’s also been a trainer that’s supported me over the years and I’d love to be able to ride him a Group winner.

I do think Archie Watson’s Soldier’s Call is definitely the one to beat though. I’ve seen him at home a few times in Lambourn and I know that he’s come out of his Royal Ascot win in the Windsor Castle really well. He sets a fair standard of form, but I’m very happy to be riding Street Parade.

Onto the big race of the day, the Qatar Sussex Stakes, where I ride one of my favourite horses in training, Lightning Spear.

He’s a grand old horse; this’ll be his 12th start in a British Champions Series race, and I’d love for him to be able to get that maiden Group 1 win that he so deserves. David Simcock has freshened him up since the Queen Anne and I don’t doubt he’ll put his best foot forward once again in this race.

Realistically though, you’d have to say we’re up against it as the weight for age at this time of the year is such a massive help to three-year-old runners.

I can’t really get my head around why anyone is looking to crab Without Parole. Yes he’s lightly raced, but he’ll have learned plenty from his St James’s Palace win and you could still argue there’s more improvement to come from him. He deserves to be favourite and I think he’s the one we all have to beat.

There’s no obvious front-runner in the race, but both Without Parole and Beat the Bank will want to race up with the pace and I wouldn’t think either would have any trouble making the running.

Once the Group 1 dust settles I ride debutante Disco Dorris for Andrew (Balding) in the 4.10.

We like her a fair bit at home, but to be honest we haven’t got a huge idea on quite how good she is as we’re yet to press any buttons.

Hopefully this’ll be a nice racecourse introduction and we’ll get a good idea of targets we can set her later in the season.

Finally, I’m aboard Whitefountainfairy in the lucky last. Her form last year was very promising and we were pretty hopeful in the spring that she’d go on to have an exciting four-year-old campaign.

She won on seasonal debut at Lingfield, but then has since run disappointingly, albeit one of those runs was in very lofty company in the Coronation Stakes.

Her handicap debut didn’t quite go to plan last time out at Newmarket, but the yard’s horses are in great form and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her bounce back tomorrow.