Oisin Murphy steps in for Chaldean ride in Prix Jean Prat

Oisin Murphy will partner Chaldean as he heads to France this weekend for the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville.

The Andrew Balding-trained Frankel colt was last seen finishing second to Paddington in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, prior to which he was an impressive winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in early May.

Paddington is now the Coral-Eclipse favourite and could step up to a mile and a quarter Sandown on Saturday, whereas Chaldean will return to a seven-furlong trip in the Deauville Group One on Sunday.

Frankie Dettori, who has been aboard for Chaldean’s last five starts, is unable to take to take the ride as he is serving a suspension for careless riding at the Royal meeting.

Murphy, who is Balding’s principal rider, will therefore take the reins at the weekend having ridden the Juddmonte-owned three-year-old several times before at home.

Barry Mahon, racing manager to Juddmonte, said: “Obviously Frankie is not around this weekend, which is unfortunate, but what can we do?

“It’s disappointing, but we’re in good shape and Andrew is happy with him.

“We’ll kick on and if he’s happy with him tomorrow morning after he does a little bit of work, he’ll be on track for Sunday.

“Oisin has ridden him at home plenty. He’ll sit on him again tomorrow. I know he’s never ridden him on the track, but he knows the horse well and he’s an integral part of Andrew’s team, so it is nice that he can get aboard on Sunday.

“He is a Dewhurst winner and not short of speed and Frankie’s first words when he got off him at Ascot were, ‘jeez, he has got lots of speed’, and we threw the July Cup out there for a while and we didn’t think that was the right thing to do.

“Seven furlongs looks a good spot for him and he is in good shape and hopefully it will work out.

“He’s versatile. His pedigree is all speed, his two-year-old form is all seven furlongs, so I think trip-wise he is fine, seven to a mile. I thought after the Guineas he’d stretch out a little bit, but I’m not so sure now. We’ll have to see how the year progresses.”

Also heading for Deauville for the same race is Kevin Ryan’s Hi Royal, second behind Chaldean in the Guineas and third behind Paddington and his stablemate Cairo in the Irish equivalent of the race at the Curragh.

His Newmarket run came at a huge price of 125-1, but he was an 11-2 chance in Ireland once his ability had been proven in a Classic.

Adam Ryan, the trainer’s son and his assistant, said: “Hi Royal will go to the Prix Jean Prat on Sunday. He is in great order. He was never in at Ascot, so he is nice and freshened up since his run in the Irish Guineas.

“Obviously that form has worked out extremely well, because Paddington has probably announced himself as the leading three-year-old. I think we would have been second to him, had he not received a bump.

“His form is rock solid and it will be nice to hope that he can have his day in the sun.

“I think he is pretty versatile ground-wise. He seems to act on anything and is a fine-moving horse. You probably don’t want extremes with him, but I don’t think he’d shy away from very much either.

“I believe James Doyle will be riding him. He has ridden Group One winners for us and Mr (Jaber) Abdullah (owner).”

Beyond Deauville, there will be some consideration as to which path Hi Royal takes throughout the rest of the season, with the horse a year younger than stablemate and fellow miler Triple Time.

“It is quite difficult to say what plans will be for Hi Royal, as he is in the same mile division as Triple Time and you get to that point where the three-year-olds have to take on the older horses,” Ryan said.

“Again, it is something you have to sit down and discuss with connections and make the best plan possible.

“It is hard enough to win these races, you don’t want to be taking each other on for the same yard as well. We’ll look forward to Sunday first and take things from there.”

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