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Speedy stars on show for July week

12 Jul 2018

Beat the Bank Oisin Murphy

Unlike most of the country, I can safely say I’ve had a really positive week! Still absolutely buzzing from Roaring Lion’s win in the Coral Eclipse, I managed to ride an across the card five-timer on Wednesday at Lingfield and Kempton!

Despite my Irish roots, I’m genuinely disappointed that England didn’t manage to make it through as Sunday would have been an amazing day to be a part of. Hopefully the quality racing on all over the country during July week will get peoples’ minds off the World Cup!

I head off to York tomorrow but will be keeping a close eye on proceedings at Newmarket and in particular the return of an absolute superstar in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes.

To put it plainly, if Alpha Centauri brings her A-game like she did in the Coronation Stakes then she won’t be beaten. Simple as that.

Her run at Ascot was pretty mind-blowing – the second-placed horse Threading beat the track record that day too and she was six lengths behind her!

She seems tactically versatile, which is always a big help in small-field races, and I just think that she’ll confirm the form here.

A lively outsider for the race is a mare I know well, Opal Tiara. She’ll absolutely love the faster conditions and is a very uncomplicated ride. She’ll race on the speed and that’s a tactic that can suit the July Course at times – I’d be surprised if she was out of the first three.

Onto Saturday and while I’ll be at Ascot for Summer Mile Day, you can bet I’ll be watching the speedsters do battle in the Darley July Cup.

Personally, I think US Navy Flag is worth another chance. He showed top form to win both the Middle Park and Dewhurst last year and things just haven’t quite gone his way over a mile this season.

My inkling is that he hasn’t quite been staying out the trip and that he’ll massively appreciate a step back down to six furlongs. While the forecast fast ground should suit him to a tee.

Blue Point 100% deserves to be top of the market. He was really impressive at Ascot and I think he’ll appreciate a step back up to six furlongs. He powered his way past an absolute speedball in Battaash in the Kings Stand in the final furlong and he sets the standard that the rest have to beat.

At Ascot my highlight ride on the card is without a doubt Beat The Bank in the Summer Mile.

It’ll be the first time I’ve ridden him since we won the Joel Stakes at Newmarket last year and I’m looking forward to renewing acquaintances with him. He’s a small, tough little horse who wears his heart on his sleeve and is just a pleasure to ride.

He met a fair bit of traffic in the Queen Anne last time out and was still only beaten two lengths. If he carries that form into Saturday then I think that’ll put him bang there. I’d love to be able to win another big race on him.


A two-year-old by Showcasing, trained by Archie Watson. He was second at Chepstow on debut and, frankly, we were disappointed he didn’t win. He travelled like a good horse but just got a little green late on when he came off the bridle. He’s improved a lot for that experience and seems to be going well at home now.