Monday 22 January 2018

Killarney jockey Oisin Murphy enjoys stunning 9,260/1 quadruple at Ayr

Oisin Murphy on Highland Colori wins The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup
Oisin Murphy on Highland Colori wins The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup

Rising star Oisin Murphy enjoyed a day he will never forget as Highland Colori starred in a stunning 9,260-1 four-timer when turning what looked a competitive William Hill Ayr Gold Cup into a rout.

Carrying a penalty for a win over seven furlongs at Warwick last month, the Andrew Balding-trained 20-1 winner broke from stall 19 as the field converged on the near side rail.

For a brief moment Jack Dexter looked like giving Scotland a long-awaited home-trained success but at least Highland Colori's owner, Evan Sutherland, hails from north of the border.

Louis The Pious was second, two and a half lengths away, with Jack Dexter third and Heaven's Guest fourth.

Murphy, 18, said: "He's so game, I pulled it (whip) through and he hasn't half tried.

"I think he was rated 78 when Andrew got him and he's won off 100 today.

"I'm a bit shocked because I came here hoping John Quinn's horse in the last might run well, I thought this horse might be out of his depth with the Group horses like Jack Dexter."

Asked about trying to become champion apprentice next year, Murphy, who hails from Killarney and is a nephew of Gold Cup-winning jockey Jim Culloty, said: "You dream about things like that but I'd like to keep improving and the winners will come."

It got even better for Murphy in the following race as the John Quinn-trained Levitate recorded a ready success in the William Hill - iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini Ayrshire Handicap.

Winner of the Lincoln at the start of the Flat turf season, Levitate was sent off the 5-1 joint-favourite and accounted for another former Lincoln winner in Brae Hill by two and a quarter lengths.

Quinn said: "He will get a 4lb penalty for the Cambridgeshire and we definitely want to run him.

"Oisin has ridden two out of two for us, his 5lb claim is robbery and with his claim his rating in the Cambridgeshire will be 92 and he won the Lincoln off 90, so you are not surprised we are going."

Murphy recorded a first ever hat-trick in Britain when making the most of a spare ride on the Linda Perratt-trained Silver Rime in the Microtech Support Handicap.

The 20-1 winner had finished only 10th on Thursday but left that effort behind with a neck success from Magic Destiny.

Locally-based Perratt said: "I was delighted to be able to get Oisin when Phillip (Makin) was unable to ride, he said he had never been to Scotland before but I bet he will want to come back now!"

Murphy said: "It's been a great day, it was great to win the big race and it's nice to have two other winners as well.

"I came over here in October last year and I couldn't be more pleased with the way things have gone.

"I model myself on David Probert and William Buick, you could not have two better role models.

"Mr Balding took me into the office yesterday morning and drew a diagram of what I should do in the race - go straight for three furlongs and then edge over to the rails for the last quarter-mile, and it all worked out.

"I was able to follow Mr Quinn's instructions and they worked out perfectly as well, it's been a smashing day."

A stunning afternoon for Murphy was rounded off as Cockney Sparrow (5-2 favourite) stayed on strongly in the Jordan Electrics Ltd Handicap for Malton trainer Quinn.

Murphy said: "I can't believe it, the day's got even better."

Ancient Cross defied top weight to win the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup for veteran trainer Mick Easterby, who signalled his intention to retire at the end of the season.

Seventh in the Portland Handicap, Easterby fitted the nine-year-old with cheekpieces and the fact he was drawn on the rail appeared to be a positive.

To complete a good result for the family, Easterby's nephew Tim saddled Fast Shot to take second with Irish challenger An Saighdiur third and Picture Dealer fourth.

Easterby, 82, said: "I expected him to run a good race because when he ran the other day he ran a good race but sort of stopped. The older they get the faster they get but the lazier they get.

"You can't train them at home, it is very hard, you just have to run them. I think the cheekpieces helped and he's just come right.

"I'm very pleased Tim finished second, too - I'm his godfather but I like to beat him.

"It's nice to have a big-race winner because my son David will be taking over the licence next season. I'm sure he'll do very well."

The Charlie Hills-trained Coral Mist came with a late run to snatch the William Hill - In The App Store Firth Of Clyde Stakes in the final strides.

Tom Queally challenged down the centre of the track on the Haydock maiden winner, who had finished behind the favourite Valonia when the pair made their debuts.

Valonia tried to make all but was swamped close home and Olly Stevens' Hoku hit the front for a few strides only for Coral Mist to deny her by a nose.

Queally said: "I think it is the first time I have been up here for at least seven years, so it was certainly worth the journey. I think she could be decent, she improved so much from her first run to her second run at Haydock and she's improved again - there's no reason why she can't go on improving. She is a very nice filly."

Richard Fahey's Latenightrequest (25-1) caused an upset in the Sked Construction - Concrete's What We Do Nursery, while Godolphin's Sharestan (11-2) stamped his class on the William Hill - Bet On The Move Doonside Cup under Kieren Fallon.

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