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Paul Mulrennan: Big chances coming up with century in sight

By Paul Mulrennan@PMulrennan
Fri 30 Sep 2022

Paul Mulrennan is on the cusp of a century of winners this year and has good chances on Friday and Saturday to get closer to a famous landmark. Get the inside guide here from our ambassador plus his views on Sunday's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Honours, winners and fitness

It’s been yet another unbelievable week. I’m just three short of the magic hundred, keeping the best of company alongside Hollie Doyle.

I began this week by being crowned top jockey (11 winners) at Hamilton Park. It was also pleasing to see Jim Goldie crowned as top trainer. I think I’m right in saying that’s the first time Jim has taken the honours there. It’s always incredibly competitive across the Scottish tracks and as my Dad says, “they don’t give the trophies away for free.”

Collectively we posted a 158-1 treble at Ayr on Tuesday, courtesy of Abduction, Classy Al and Aighear. Abduction won particularly well, seeing off a strong field. He hasn’t been with Jim long so promises to be a nice horse for next year.

I’m 40, yet arguably having my best season in the saddle, with August and September yielding a combined total of 36 winners. Fitness, a lack of suspensions and the hard work of my agent have all played a key role in that success. We’ve been more selective in terms of choosing rides, with most of my mounts competitive and near enough in the money.

Obviously, I’m riding most days but on the occasional day off, I’m still training in the gym. Today, I’m taking in a gym session in Leeds prior to heading off to Newcastle. I’m at peak fitness so I’ll continue to enjoy the rest of this season, refresh, and go again in 2023.

Decent chances at Newcastle on Friday

 Mulrennan has a 17 per cent strike-rate this year and returns over £24 in level stakes profit on all of his rides in 2022
Mulrennan has a 17 per cent strike-rate this year and returns over £24 in level stakes profit on all of his rides in 2022

The track and trip should suit B Associates (5.45). He’s had a short break (been freshened up) since his last run and goes there with plenty in his favour. He’s always hinted at having some ability, so I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t competitive.

Helen Cuthbert’s Mr Coco Bean (7.15) ran respectably (fifth) over 1m2f last time and, without getting too excited as there is an odds-on favourite in the mix, should run another solid race.

Rory (8.15) was unfortunate at Hamilton earlier in the week. He’s a hold-up horse who needs to be ridden cold, which means you’ll always need that vital ingredient of luck. He finished full of running there, I had plenty of horse left underneath. He’s drawn closer to the stands’ rail tonight (than for his recent C&D win) and should be a force if able to deliver his ‘A game.’

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'Big Alan' has conditions to suit at Ascot

 Paul is hoping for another big day aboard Euchen Glen
Paul is hoping for another big day aboard Euchen Glen

Euchen Glen contests the Peroni Nastro Azzurro Cumberland Lodge Stakes (2.25). He ran a hell of a race when runner-up in the Doonside Cup, showing that he’s still got plenty left in the tank. He’s well drawn and, with rain forecast for Friday, the ground should be perfect. Obviously, it is a top-quality Group Three contest, but the stiff 1m4f combined with juice in the ground should be ideal for the horse we affectionately call ‘Big Alan’.

Connor Beasley sticks with the Stewards’ Cup winner Commanche Falls in the John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes (3.00) which provides me with the opportunity to climb back aboard Frank Lowe’s smashing mare Gale Force Maya. She’s won five times this year (13-38 career) and arrives seeking a hat-trick following Listed wins at York (6f) and Ayr (5.5f). She’s been a fine servant to her connections and is as tough as old boots. She’s fully deserving of her place in this Group Three contest. The weather forecast is a slight concern though, with most of her form coming on top of the ground.

John Butler’s Sir Dancealot (3.36) finished ninth of 24 in the Ayr Gold Cup, running a good solid race in a competitive handicap. Although considered an outsider for the Peroni Nastro Azzurro Challenge Cup, I feel that Ascot will play to his strengths. It’s worth highlighting that he finished a keeping-on fifth in the Qipco British Champions Sprint of 2018.

Fingers crossed for Sir Mark in Paris

Sir Mark Prescott’s Yorkshire Oaks heroine Alpinista is my pick for Sunday’s Qatar Prix De L’arc De Triomphe. She’s got a lovely draw (stall 6) and arrives seeking a sixth-straight Group 1 win. She doesn’t appear to have any chinks in her armour. She goes on any ground (it’ll be soft at Longchamp), and you can ride her however you choose. She’s a very straightforward horse and arguably the best filly in the world at this moment in time.

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