Five things we learnt on Saturday: Murphy shows Dettori how it is done

Sat 26 Aug 2017

Tom Peacock looks at the top five takewaways from Saturday's action from York and Goodwood on Racing UK.

Murphy enjoys the moment:

Oisin Murphy made sure he was not another high-profile pilot to fall guilty of premature celebrating much as Frankie Dettori had done on Friday - but he made the most of it once he was certain.

Qatar Racing’s rider could not have been entirely confident of securing a second consecutive Grosvenor Sport Celebration Mile Stakes aboard the marvellous Lightning Spear, as it appeared crossing the line as if Adam Kirby and Zonderland had an equal chance of getting the verdict.

Murphy was in Sussex on the back of a four-timer at Newmarket on Friday night and his timing was perfect as he swooped late in a tactical race. He made sure the celebrations counted afterwards.

“I just about got it right,” he admitted.

"I've lived, breathed and dreamt horse racing since I was a child. It's very hard to leave it at the races. Lads say they can leave it behind when they go in the door, but I can't so it's important when it goes right."

Leger seemingly not in Mind:

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The Goodwood Revival March Stakes has only been ever a very minor trial for the St Leger, with Michelozzo in 1989 the last Classic hero to have come from it, and it was opened up to older horses for many years.

Back to three-year-olds only again this season, it attracted an interesting group of five which included two outsiders in the Leger betting.

It is only a shame that the winner, Her Majesty’s Call To Mind, is not engaged as there is no reason why he would not have been a realistic contender for Doncaster at a bit of a price.

Sixth in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot had been the best of his four previous efforts, but what was notable was how he allayed any stamina concerns in his pedigree by kicking away in the closing stages of the mile and three-quarters.

No doubt trainer William Haggas will have other events in mind for this developing son of Galileo and Memory.

No enjoying the Scenery:

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It was hardly a disappointing day for Godolphin, with Charlie Appleby winning both the Melrose and the Julia Graves Roses Stakes at York.

For Appleby’s Godolphin colleague Saeed Bin Suroor, there was a feeling that another Betfred Ebor had got away with Natural Scenery a very unlucky-looking third.

The cards have not fallen for this filly, who was narrowly beaten in the Northumberland Plate, and on this occasion jockey Eddie Greatrex was searching for room throughout the penultimate furlong before getting clear when it was all too late.

Natural Scenery will pick up a good prize some day, and in any event this was a welcome moment in the spotlight for the admirable Nakeeta, underrated trainer Iain Jardine and young apprentice jockey Callum Rodriguez.

Plenty of time for Sands:

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While Rock Of Gibraltar is the best-known recent winner of the Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes, it is a more established producer of top sprinters and boasts 2015 Champion Sprinter Muhaarar and Godolphin’s smart Blue Point among the most recent graduates.

So in as much as any quotes for next year’s Guineas make no appeal for Sands Of Mali, and few were getting carried away with his performance against perhaps only middling rivals, there is still no reason why Richard Fahey’s colt could not feature prominently in the 2018 Commonwealth Cup.

The son of Panis - little known in Britain, but a well established as a stallion in France - was among the most unexposed in the field and is clearly making big strides.

He looks well worth a place in next month’s Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, even though Paul Hanagan’s view was that “this year is just a bonus” for a horse he feels is still a “shell”.

Sands Of Mali is 16-1 with Skybet for next season’s Royal Ascot sprint.

Plenty of promise for Noseda:

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Jeremy Noseda seems to be quietly re-emerging as a force among Newmarket trainers and has been firing in the winners lately, partly courtesy of big investment from the recently-formed Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited.

Among the best prospects at his stable must be Betty F, a home-bred Frankel filly from the family of the useful stayer Seal Of Approval.

Noseda had already given Betty F a Cheveley Park entry, prior to her debut in the six-furlong novice at his local course and it looked justified by the way she caught up previous winner Rockies Spirit and won cosily.

She looks a Group filly already with scope to improve, while Noseda will not have been disheartened by the performance of Quivery, who shaped better than her fourth-placed finish in the Grosvenor Sport Prestige Stakes.

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