Murtagh looks to bag another big prize with Toofi
Ever since Johnny Murtagh took up training he has been riding on the crest of a wave. Educate’s victory last week was just the latest in a series of big race victories for the genial Irishman.
With William Buick claimed to ride Hunters Creek for John Gosden, Murtagh has stepped in for the ride on Toofi who won a similar contest two weeks ago here. That victory was over six furlongs and he needed every yard of it to wear down Jallota.
The extra furlong on Saturday should suit Toofi and he may have most to fear from Aidan O’Brien’s Oklahoma City. He was second to Geoffrey Chaucer in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes last Sunday over a mile and that gives him a favourite’s chance.
The card opens with the fillies competing for another massive prize and this is almost a re-run of the race won by Wedding Ring last month. On that occasion she beat Oxsana by a neck with Fashion Fund, Zawiyah and Aqlaam Vision behind.
Wedding Ring always looked in command that day and has raced over this trip previously when third in the Sweet Solera Stakes. Night Song could also come into it on the strength of a decent run behind the useful Sound Reflection at Kempton.
The best bet of the day could be Luca Cumani’s unbeaten Ajman Bridge in the handicap at 5.15. This lightly raced son of Dubawi won well at Pontefract last time and does not appear too harshly treated by the handicapper.
The listed TRM Pride Stakes at 4.10 looks wide open but John Gosden has a strong hand with Cushion and Gertrude Versed. Preference is for Cushion who was not disgraced in France last time out and had previously run well at Newbury.
Selections: 1.50 Wedding Ring, 2.20 Toofi (nb), 2.55 Validus, 3.35 Johann Strauss, 4.10 Cushion, 4.45 Winning Express, 5.15 Ajman Bridge (NAP)