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"He’s my standout chance this weekend"

1 Oct 2015

Oisin Murphy heads to France to team up with Ebor hero Litigant and he talks us through his weekend rides and the horse who he hopes will give him back-to-back victories in Ascot's Challenge Cup.

Eyes on the prize! Oisin is back on Ebor hero Litigant on Sunday. Image copyright of

Well, it’s been a week since my Sport Magazine feature came out and believe me I have got plenty of stick in the Weighing Room! I think every jockey has the photo saved on their phone and Jamie Spencer has somehow managed to photoshop it – but I really don’t mind and can take plenty on the chin!

Back on the track and my new agent has been working really hard and I hit my monthly target of 10 winners in September. This is a lovely time of year for me as I’m very busy when others might be quietening down and trainers I tend to ride for have horses that come good now. Andrew (Balding) has plenty that like cut in the ground, with Ormito (Haydock maiden winner by 7 lengths) last weekend being a prime example.

On Saturday I’ve got nine rides and kick off with Wind Fire in the opening listed race at Ascot. The less rain the better, but Ascot is the ideal track for her and off 8 stone 9 I think she has a great chance.  In the following Cumberland Lodge Stakes I team up with Red Galileo, on whom I finished fifth in last year’s Derby. I know him very well and will hopefully be able to get a decent tune out of him.

I think that Gabriel’s Lad has been targeted at the Challenge Cup, a race I won last year, and I’m very happy to be on him. He’s guaranteed a strong pace, travels strongly, loves the track and has to be my standout ride this weekend.

Then I’m heading west to Wolverhampton, where Fruity will probably take a bit of beating in the fillies’ handicap for Clive Cox. I also have another ride for Godolphin on Fine View in the maiden and it’s lovely to be riding for them.

On Sunday I’m riding for the third year on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day and I’m back on Litigant in the Cadran later on the card. The aim will be to get him switched off early. Because of the extreme trip this is one of the weaker European Group 1 races and he fully deserves to take his chance. I galloped him a week ago and was very pleased with the way he went.

He’s a very fresh horse and with the prize money on British Champions Day being unbelievable, I imagine it will all be systems go for the Long Distance Cup.

In the Arc de Triomphe itself I know for a fact that Andre Fabre is very keen on New Bay. I look up to his rider Vincent Cheminaud, the rising star in France, and it’s no surprise Andre holds him in such high regard. Of course, Treve is a worthy favourite, but I just think that she’s vulnerable to an improver. I also think that we’ve not seen the best of Found and she could go well at a bigger price. She’s won at Longchamp, has a fantastic turn of foot and they’re adamant that she’ll stay.


Dead-heated at Ascot last time and is being aimed at the Old Rowley Cup at Newmarket next weekend. I saw him this morning and he looks very well. He could just end up being a bit better than a handicapper.