Murphy takes grip on title race with Salisbury treble
Oisin Murphy ramped up the pressure on title-chasing rivals trying to dethrone him as champion jockey with a near 31-1 treble at Salisbury.
The Classic-winning rider extended his advantage at the top of the Flat Jockeys Championship with his third treble this month – and second in successive days – as he continues to make a one-person race of an event which at one stage looked closely fought.
Having trimmed Murphy from 2-5 into 1-4 to defend his title earlier in the day, William Hill were forced to cut the 24-year-old further into 2-9.
“It has been a crazy day with punters lumping on Oisin to lift the trophy, almost as if it was already on the mantelpiece,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.
Paddy Power went even shorter, offering Murphy 1-5 from 1-4 to keep his crown.
“It looks increasingly likely that Oisin Murphy is going to gain back-to-back titles,” said spokesman Paul Binfield.
“A couple of weeks ago William Buick stated his title intentions with a four-timer at Newmarket – but since then Oisin Murphy has continued to ride multiple winners at multiple tracks and looks like he will now be hard to peg back.”
Crazy Luck (5-1) got the ball rolling for Murphy when taking the step up to seven furlongs in her stride to win the Crouch’s Down Maiden Auction Fillies’ Stakes by a length and three-quarters.
Winning trainer Rod Millman said: “ She has always been a nice filly and done everything correctly.
“She got in behind and had a few traffic problems first time out – but that didn’t do any harm, because it was a nice first experience.
“She has come here, really enjoyed it and done her job probably. I expect she will go down the nursery route now.”
Sidereal cast aside his rivals by three and a quarter lengths in the Federation Of Bloodstock Agents Novice Stakes to give Murphy and trainer Andrew Balding the first of two winners together.
Murphy said of the 11-4 shot: “He relaxed in front, and Andrew Balding’s horses are in very good form. I think there are lots of upsides to him. He will stay further and he clearly doesn’t mind any type of ground.”
Only two went to post for the Kevin Hall & Pat Boakes Memorial Handicap, but it produced arguably the finish of the day – with Iron Heart getting the better of Gentleman At Arms by three-quarters of a length to complete Balding’s double and Murphy’s three-timer.
Murphy said of the 2-5 winner: “His work has been smart. He ran a good race at Newmarket last time behind Grand Bazaar, who is an improving horse.
“I’m really pleased he has won, and he can go on to better things.”
Amazon Princess rewarded Tony Newcombe’s gamble to run her in the Whiteparish Handicap, prevailing by a neck.
Newcombe said of the 11-2 shot: “I don’t think she enjoyed the ground one little bit. It was touch and go whether we were going to run her.
“I followed the radar overnight, and they gave rain here at 3am this morning – which didn’t come.
“We declared her at Chepstow, hoping for some ease in the ground on Saturday. The owner made the call to run today, and it has worked. This was her ‘Derby’ today.”
Almareekh made it a hat-trick of wins for the campaign with a decisive five-length success in the British Stallion Studs EBF Odstock Fillies’ Handicap.
Jim Crowley, rider of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained 3-1 shot, said : “It was rattling ground quick ground out there.
“She is by War Front and she bounced off it, when a lot of the others probably didn’t go on it.”