Weekend Blog: Love And Murphy - Two Big Blows For Racing

Weekend Racing Blog: Love And Murphy - Two Big Blows For Racing

Do you want the bad news or the worse news first? Both breaking news stories are a blow to racing in these most difficult of times.

Aidan O’Brien’s Love will not take part in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe due to concerns about the soft ground and it was revealed on Thursday that champion jockey Oisin Murphy has been tested positive for metabolites of cocaine but is adamant of his innocence.

Bye Bye Love

The anticipated very soft going for the Arc had seen Love replaced by Enable as the favourite for the most prestigious all-aged Flat race in Europe at Longchamp on Sunday. Love will now not take part and Enable has again shortened in the betting odds.

Love’s trainer, Aidan O’Brien, had reported his filly would be at a disadvantage if the ground is testing. Conversely, Enable has form on good to soft going and the Arc betting market had responded accordingly.

Enable Favourite For An Historic Hat-Trick

Enable and Stradivarius, both trained by John Gosden, are now the top two in the betting for the Arc and their best combined price is about 4/6 with Ladbrokes. Six of the last 12 winners of the race have been the first or second favourites.

The favourite Enable receives the three pounds mares and fillies allowance. That weight pull is offset against the weight-for-age allowance for horses aged three. This means that Enable carries three pounds more weight than five entries for colts aged three in her attempt to win an historic third Arc.

More Tests For Murphy

The Oisin Murphy story could be more damaging but the champion jockey insists he has never taken cocaine in his life.

There will be no further comment until the results of further tests have been confirmed.

Speedster Battaash Looks Rock Solid

Battaash is the fastest horse in training in Europe and can confirm that status by winning the Prix de l’Abbaye on the Arc undercard on Sunday. The British trained runner is a course and distance winner.

The horse for money this week has been Make a Challenge who will relish the very soft going more than the favourite. However, Battaash has something in hand on speed figures, form and ratings.

Battaash was the winner of the race in 2017 has won 13 races from 23 starts and over £1.755 million in prize money. Battaash was fourth the following year and ran poorly last October when 14th of 16 runners in the race won by Glass Slippers.

That horse runs in the Abbaye again on Sunday but Battaash looks rock solid and can win the five furlongs Group 1 for the second time.

Terbellum Top Rated For The Sun Chariot Stakes

Terebellum has the highest Official Rating in the 12-runner field for the only Group 1 race in Britain on Saturday, the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket. The fillies and mares race over one mile looks a good opportunity for the John Gosden horse so 11/2 with BetVictor is a decent price.

He was beaten by two necks as the favourite by the winner, Nazeef, and Billesdon Brook in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in July. Terebellum was only headed near the finish and a repeat of that form should get the job done in this race.

In an open betting heat, Terebellum is the third favourite behind Champers Elysees and Peaceful but has the better overall form and rating so I think that Terebellum can win at the highest level for the first time at Newmarket this weekend.

And finally…

The BHA (British Horseracing Authority) have classed jockeys from the UK travelling to ride in Paris on Sunday as ‘frequent private travellers’ so they don’t have to go into quarantine on their return.

The racing industry would certainly appreciate some special treatment from the Government so that limited, controlled crowds could attend race meetings during the current health crisis. Here’s hoping it will not be too much longer.

* Betting odds quoted were correct at the time of article publication