NOTTINGHAM RACEDAY ROUND-UP: CALL MY BLUFF AND UNSPOKEN COULD BE OFF TO ROYAL ASCOT WHILE OISIN MURPHY ENJOYS 43-1 TREBLE
Spectators returned to Nottingham on 18th May following the first easing of COVID-19 regulations and those in attendance were treated to some good quality action with two winners on the day possibly now heading to Royal Ascot next month. It was certainly an afternoon to remember for reigning champion jockey Oisin Murphy, who enjoyed a 43-1 treble.
James Wilcox, General Manager of Nottingham Racecourse, said: “It was fantastic to welcome 500 spectators back to Nottingham today for an afternoon of competitive racing. The atmosphere that racegoers provide has been much missed and it was genuinely lovely to hear the sound of cheering during each race.
“With the changes to the zones it has been particularly good to see owners chatting with their trainers and jockeys in the parade ring and the feedback from them has been extremely positive. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has come to Nottingham and supported the raceday and we hope they have enjoyed it as much as we have. We now look forward to our next fixture on Sunday, 23rd May.”
We sent Graham Clark along to speak to the winners on the day….
ASCOT STAKES COULD BE ON AGENDA FOR CALL MY BLUFF
Call My Bluff moved closer to an outing at Royal Ascot after resuming his progression on his return to the turf when ending trainer Dominic ffrench Davis' 225 day wait for a winner at Nottingham on Tuesday (May 18th).
Having rattled up a hat-trick of wins in the second half of last season, the Make Believe gelding left his below par return at Southwell 22 days ago well behind in the two-mile Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap to complete a double for jockey Silvestre de Sousa.
Despite being pressed late on by 13-8 favourite and last time out course BBBBBBBBBwinner Cochise, the 8-1 chance showed an abundance of stamina in the hands of the three-time champion jockey to score by a length and a half.
The Lambourn handler said: “I’m delighted with him. Silvestre has given him a lovely ride. He said he didn’t really like the tacky ground. He said he either wants it softer, where they go through it, or slightly better but he stays all day and has a big heart.
“I was listening to Hollie Doyle on television the other day and she was saying you take a horse to Southwell as you think it wants soft ground and sometimes they absolutely hate it, which he did and he was beaten at half-way.
“I think he will make a super jumper one day but he is an out and out stayer on the Flat. I’ve always thought he might make up into a Cesarewitch horse. If the ground didn’t have firm in it at Ascot we might try and squeak him into the Ascot Stakes.”
The Tim Easterby-trained Myristica (100-30) got the ball rolling for de Sousa when wearing down the hat-trick seeking Omany Amber late on in the Watch Racing TV Fillies’ Handicap before going on to claim the mile and a quarter prize by three quarters of a length.
43-1 TREBLE FOR OISIN MURPHY
Reigning champion jockey Oisin Murphy went one better than de Sousa after landing a 43-1 treble, secured by the three quarters of a length success of Capla Dream on her stable debut for Joe Tuite in the racingtv.com Fillies’ Handicap
Murphy said: “Days like this are what you want. I’ve hit the cross bar a lot in the last few days so it is nice to get some winners on the board. It is a confidence boost. Every jockey needs to keep riding winners on a regular basis to keep the confidence high.
On the 14-1 winner he added: “Joe said she would love the ground and she had been training nicely. It was a little bit sloshy on top but this filly thrived on those conditions. I was drawn eight in amongst them and I just followed them along and she finished it off well.”
MORRISON DOUBLES UP
There was no denying King Of Clubs on his return to the track after the 5-6 favourite struck gold by five and a half lengths in the Bet At racingtv.com Median Auction Maiden Stakes over an extended mile to give Murphy and trainer Hughie Morrison the first of two winners together.
Morrison, speaking away from the track said: “I think he probably ran to a higher level of form last time when he was second here as they went a better gallop. He saw that out well today and I’d imagine he will get further.
“Our feeling at home is that we were a bit concerned about the softer ground today but he handled it but I feel he would be better on faster ground.”
Legendary Day (8-13 Favourite) provided Murphy and Morrison with further success after running out a clear cut three and a quarter length victory in the Join Racing TV Now Classified Stakes over an extended mile.
Morrison added: “He bumped into one last time at Windsor. I don’t really like running them quick but I didn’t really have any other options. I think he would have won a handicap off 74 today but it was still nice to get a win into him.
“He is owned by Tony Solomons who had a very good stayer called Nearly Caught with us a few years ago. Hopefully this one can work his way up the ranks as well.”
UNSPOKEN IMPRESSES BECKETT AND COULD HEAD TO COVENTRY STAKES
An outing at the Royal meeting could also be on the agenda for the Ralph Beckett-trained Unspoken (3-1), who hit the ground running to make his debut a winning one by a length and three quarters in the opening six-furlong British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.
Beckett, speaking away from the track, said: “We felt that he would handle the ground and he proved that was correct.
“Because we have not been able to get on the grass, which has not been ready because of the spring we have had, I was concerned he would not know enough but I was delighted with that.
“If there was juice in the ground we would be tempted by the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot as the fact he has done that on debut speaks volumes about him.”