Murphy dazzles at Ascot with four-timer

Oisin Murphy enjoyed a superb afternoon at Ascot when riding no less than four winners on the card.

The jockey’s first success came courtesy of Andrew Balding’s Miss Information, an 11-4 chance who took the Events At Ascot Christmas Parties British EBF Restricted Novice Stakes by a length.

The next race was a success too, this time for Saeed bin Suroor as Olympic Candle landed the Charbonnel Et Walker British EBF Maiden Stakes as the 5-2 favourite, with the Irish raider, Aidan O’Brien’s Kestrel, coming home in fourth place.

Of the latter win Murphy said: “He’s a lovely horse and a really good advert for his sire (Profitable) because he’s strong-bodied with a good mind and I hope he has some ability.

“Saeed said he was really pleased with him at home, his work had come forward and they were hopeful he’d win today. It was a push-button ride, he relaxed, I didn’t want to hit the front too soon. I loved the way he got to the line.

“I’m still a little bit undecided as to what his trip will be, it might be that he sharpens up and is a six-furlong horse. Before today I thought he was a miler in the making, let’s see what Saeed thinks and how he comes out of it.”

The rider’s day got even better when that double became a treble as he took the Bet With Ascot Classified Stakes aboard Balding’s 4-1 chance Glenfinnan.

The final victory then came courtesy of Harry and Roger Charlton’s Zouzanna in the Sodexo Live! Handicap, a 7-2 shot who prevailed by three quarters of a length to seal a fruitful day for the former champion jockey.

Ralph Beckett’s red-hot run continued as he looked to unearth another potential jewel with Seaward in the Memberships At Ascot EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

The Sea The Stars filly was an expensive purchase and was beaten a length on debut at Newmarket, with a Group One entry in the Fillies’ Mile giving some indication as to the esteem she is held in by connections.

She was sent off the 5-6 favourite under Hector Crouch and despite becoming agitated in the prelude to the race, she was professional once hitting the track and crossed the line a length and a half ahead of Michael Bell’s Climate Action.

Beckett told Sky Sports Racing: “She wasn’t easy beforehand, she was a bit antsy, a bit ‘on the muscle’ as the Americans say.

“I was really pleased with her to do it like that and pull clear of the third (Balding’s Catch The Light), who I think they like.

“I haven’t done a whole pile with her, she did a bit of work before her debut and we took our time to get here.

“She got a very sympathetic ride first time from Rob Hornby and I think that helped her.”

Of her next step the trainer added: “We’ll see how we go, I think we’re going to have to manage her a bit better in the preliminaries.”

There was then a dead-heat in the Palmer & Co Champagne Handicap as Jamie Osborne’s Ouzo (7-2) and Marco Botti’s Daysofourlives (14-1) split the prize money when ridden by Saffie Osborne and Stefano Cherchi respectively.

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