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Off to find a few Northern Lights

29 Jul 2016

Oisin Murphy

It’s been a good week so far and after riding a winner for Sheikh Fahad’s uncle at Goodwood and then a double on Wednesday night, I’m now still smiling after Pallasator’s mighty effort in the Goodwood Cup. Everything went right, with the strong gallop suiting and me holding onto him as long as possible, but we just bumped into a winner who is tough as old boots. As soon as I got to his quarters, Big Orange just kicked again! It’s probably a career-best effort, though, and he seems to be getting better with age.

I’m not actually at Goodwood on Saturday but I’ve had a good look at the racing and can’t see Minding being beaten in the Qatar Nassau Stakes. She seems to have scared off the opposition and she can land a fourth Group 1 win this year at the expense of John Gosden’s smart Swiss Range. She’s just so good, does everything so easily and I would love to see her line up in the Arc de Triomphe in the autumn. She’d only have 8 stone 8 – which would be a huge advantage

Robert Cowell is a master of the big-field sprint handicaps and I can see his Sir Robert Cheval running really well at a decent price. I’d also love to see Suzi’s Connoisseur run a big race with Aaron Jones taking off a useful 5 lbs.

I’m heading to Doncaster instead and can’t wait to get back on Strath Burn in the six-furlong minor event (4.40). Robert (Cowell) has been very pleased with him and we just hope that he can recapture his best form on the track. As readers of this blog will know, he was working unbelievably earlier in the year and fingers crossed a change of scenery will help him translate that (first run since leaving Charlie Hills)

I also ride a nice High Chaparral colt, Western Duke, in the two-year-old maiden and, although it’s a typically hot Doncaster one, he should build on his debut fifth at Sandown. Hopefully I have a good shout on Karraar as well for William Haggas, who I really like to ride for as he operates at such a high strike rate.

On Sunday the pick of my rides is Intransigent in the listed race at Chester. I know how to ride him around there and am happy to be back on him – though a bit of cut would suit.

Horse to Follow: REHEARSE

Highclere-owned colt with Andrew Balding who has really settled down recently. He should be capable off his opening handicap mark and has an entry at Kempton on Wednesday.