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Thursday 23 November 2017

Murtagh mulls over Saint ride

Johnny Murtagh is to delay his decision on which horse he will ride in the Investec Derby after St Nicholas Abbey disappointed him in a spin yesterday.

The Irish jockey reported to trainer Aidan O'Brien that he was not entirely satisfied with the ante-post favourite in the workout.

Murtagh is spoilt for choice in the premier Classic at Epsom on Saturday week as O'Brien is responsible for the first four in the betting -- St Nicholas Abbey, Jan Vermeer, Midas Touch and Cape Blanco. St Nicholas Abbey was undefeated as last season's champion two-year-old but could finish only sixth behind Makfi in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket while the other three have all won their Derby trials in impressive fashion.

"Johnny Murtagh rode St Nicholas Abbey this morning and thought he might not have shown the same sparkle he showed last Tuesday morning, therefore he won't make up his mind what horse he rides in the Investec Derby until the middle of next week," O'Brien said.

The latest betting suggests Murtagh could be aboard Jan Vermeer as he seeks a fourth success in the Derby.

The recent Gallinule Stakes winner has been cut to 4/1 from 6s with William Hill, giving a strong hint the colt will be on his way to Epsom.

Frankie Dettori, who broke his Derby duck on Authorized in 2007, has been confirmed as the jockey for Rewilding. The recent Goodwood winner is set to be supplemented at Monday's confirmation stage.

The imposing Medaglia D'Oro colt finished third to St Nicholas Abbey on his final start at two and ran a sound race when beaten just over six lengths in the 2000 Guineas.

David Lanigan feels Meeznah could be the forgotten horse in next Friday's Investec Oaks at Epsom.

Despite being as big as 40/1 for the fillies' Classic, Lanigan insists he would not trade in the daughter of Dynaformer for any of her rivals. Having plied his trade as former assistant to eight-times Oaks winner Henry Cecil, the Newmarket handler is better placed than most to offer an opinion.

Lanigan's positivity is hardly based on a hunch, either, as Meeznah made a fine return at Newmarket earlier this month with a nine-length demolition job in a mile-and-a-half maiden.

"She worked on Wednesday morning and will do her final piece next Tuesday," said the trainer. "She's improved no end since Newmarket and we are really looking forward to it. I think she's a very nice filly -- I wouldn't swop her for anything -- and she has definitely slipped under the radar."

Connections of Profound Beauty are praying for rain ahead of the Seamus & Rosemary McGrath Memorial Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown tomorrow.

They warn the six-year-old will not make her seasonal debut in the Listed race unless conditions are suitable.

"It all depends on the going. If it rains and the going is all right, she will come back and she will run very well," said Stan Cosgrove, racing manager for owners Moyglare Stud.

"I don't know if it's going to rain or not. She won't run if we don't get the rain. It's going to be a long old season."

Godolphin's Cavalryman is likely to take his chance in next week's Investec Coronation Cup field at Epsom.

The Halling colt showed top-class form in France when trained by Andre Fabre, especially when beating Age Of Aquarius and subsequent St Leger winner Mastery in the Grand Prix de Paris last July.

He finished third in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on his final start for Fabre and had two runs for Saeed bin Suroor at the Dubai Carnival, finishing fifth in the Sheema Classic most recently. "More than likely he will run in the Coronation Cup. He worked two days ago and he worked well," said trainer Saeed bin Suroor. "We think he could have a good season this year."

Carioca is set to represent Marco Botti in next weekend's Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly. The Rakti filly ran a fine race in defeat at York when narrowly failing to hold off the late run of Henry Cecil's Chachamaidee.

"I always thought she was a nice filly. She ran really well at York and was carrying a penalty," said Botti. "We are still on target to take her to Chantilly for the Prix de Sandringham next week.

"Looking at the entries it is quite a hot race, but we'll see how she works."

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