Back to Oisin Murphys Blog

Dreaming of another win on QIPCO British Champions Day

16 Oct 2020

I’ve had a good week, riding five or six winners and it’s important to keep the momentum going into QIPCO British Champions Day. I’m keeping busy, both on the track and off it, and I rode work at Andrew Balding’s on Wednesday where I put Morando through his paces ahead of the Long Distance Cup.

He felt in good shape and I sat on Kameko, as well, who was been trained for Champions Day until the testing ground scuppered our plan to run him in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Nevertheless I have a really exciting book of rides for the big day at Ascot, and hopefully I can be among the winners.

Saturday Rides – QIPCO British Champions Day
Search For A Song – 1.20 QIPCO Long Distance Cup
It’s fantastic to get on Search For A Song in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup for Dermot Weld.

I’ve only ridden for him twice, two rides at last year’s Ebor meeting at York, and one of them was when winning on this filly in the Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes.

She’s done nothing wrong this year, she was superb in the Irish Leger last time out when getting a very good ride from Oisin Orr, so hopefully I can get a nice tune out of her.

Stradivarius will be hard to beat, he deserves to be favourite, but I’m really looking forward to taking him on with Search For A Song.

It’s obviously the furthest she’s ever gone, but I think if she relaxes she’ll stay no problem, she certainly looked strong at the finish in the Irish Leger.

Dream Of Dreams – QIPCO Champions Sprint
I’ve built up quite a rapport with Dream Of Dreams and I hope we can continue our winning streak in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint.

I spoke to Sir Michael Stoute this week and he seems very happy with him. The horse is straightforward and if he’s in the same form as he was the last two starts he’ll take some beating.

He obviously bombed out in the race last year, but that was at the end of a busy campaign and he’s much fresher this time around.

Oxted is drawn near to me and he could start second favourite, so I can keep close tabs on him. I’m drawn in 16 and often it can pay to be lower than that at this time of year, but we’re drawn where we are, he’s uncomplicated, and I’ll obviously try and get cover off something.

Although at this time of year on this sort of ground it can be a very open race, Dream Of Dreams looks to have an outstanding chance.

I’ve not sat on him since Haydock, I’ve actually never ridden him in work, so hopefully that old routine can work once again and we can collect another Group One together.

Sir Busker – QEII Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO)
He’s been a mark of consistency all season and though he has a bit to find with the main players in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes he has an each-way chance.

His only disappointing run all season was his last one, in the Cambridgeshire, but he’s back at a track he likes on Saturday after his Silver Hunt Cup win when we came with a late run to beat Salayel.

Hopefully he can give his connections something to shout about. The big field is in his favour and he won’t mind the ground, it’s just whether or not the opposition is too hot.

For me, Palace Pier is a terrific horse, he loves this ground and he has done great things this season. His St James’s Palace win, for such an inexperienced horse, was incredible.

I think he has to underperform if he’s to get beat and in that scenario The Revenant, who also loves the ground, and Circus Maximus, who should take us along, come into calculations.

Bell Rock – Balmoral Handicap
The Balmoral Handicap should really suit Bell Rock. I can get stuck into him early and he finds plenty for pressure. He’s a good horse, there’s no doubt about that and he’s on the same handicap mark as when running really good races at Goodwood and Newmarket.

I’m drawn in nine, it’s hard to know if that’s good, bad or indifferent, but Raaeq and Tempus, two strong chances, are drawn close by so I’ll take that as a positive.

Bell Rock hits a flat spot and then stays on, so we’ve put headgear on him, cheekpieces, it was my idea, it’s just to try and get him up into the bit and make him concentrate.

Soft ground is an unknown, it’s hard to know if he’ll like it, but on pedigree you’d have to say it’s worth taking a calculated risk on. If he handles it well he has every chance.