Oisin’s sure the Lion can keep on roar­ing

The Racing Paper - - News - By Sam Jack­son

BIG-RACE rider Oisin Mur­phy does not en­vis­age the drop in trip prov­ing a prob­lem for Roar­ing Lion in the one mile Queen Eliz­a­beth II Stakes.

The John Gos­den-trained colt has made a real niche for him­self over 10 fur­longs this sea­son, af­ter be­ing beaten in the 2000 Guineas over a mile and the Derby over a mile and a half.

Owned by Qatar Rac­ing, whose Sheikh Fa­had Al Thani backs this meet­ing with his broth­ers, the Kit­ten’s Joy colt has won three Group Ones – the Eclipse, Jud­dmonte In­ter­na­tional and Ir­ish Cham­pion Stakes – as well as the Dante at York for good mea­sure.

“He’s an ex­cep­tional horse and ev­ery time I ride him I need to keep that in mind,” said Mur­phy, who has had en­joyed a spec­tac­u­lar sea­son him­self.

“Horses like him are so hard to get your hands on and he will have no trou­ble com­ing back in trip.

“If you roll back the clock to the 2000 Guineas, clearly he’s proven now that he’s a much bet­ter horse than (the win­ner) Saxon War­rior. If you could run the Guineas again, at the stage he is now, I think he would win. He’s a dif­fer­ent horse now to what he was in May.

“At the races he’s bril­liant and very re­laxed about the whole thing, but go­ing to post you need to switch him on by giv­ing him a proper can­ter, oth­er­wise he’s not fo­cused and he would think he’s just there for a day out.”

Gos­den said: “He has im­proved so dra­mat­i­cally this year. It was a cold, mis­er­able win­ter and we had no spring. He just wasn’t with us. He ac­tu­ally ran a nice race in the Guineas and ex­ploded in the Dante.

“He showed a lot of guts in the Eclipse and was hugely im­pres­sive in the Jud­dmonte. He had an im­pos­si­ble task at Leop­ard­stown. I don’t know how he quick­ened like he did to get there and win.

“He was a com­plete play­boy and dur­ing the win­ter he spent a lot of time on his hind legs. He was a real lad and was the type if you went into town, you would have to make sure he didn’t start a fight! He was full of it.

“He came good with rac­ing. He has got dis­ci­pline with rac­ing and that is im­pres­sive.”

Be­fore Roar­ing Lion’s switch from the Cham­pion Stakes, Reco­le­tos had been favourite for Car­los Laf­fonParias, who is based in France. Fourth in the Cham­pion last year, he has im­proved for drop­ping to a mile this term.

“We rode him to win that race last year, and it cost us the sec­ond place. I think if we’d have waited a lit­tle bit more, he should have been sec­ond, but I think it was a great per­for­mance,” said Laf­fon-Parias.

“The is­sue was that a mile and a quar­ter was a lit­tle bit too long for him, but only at this level.

“He was sec­ond, beaten by a cham­pion (Al­pha Cen­tauri) in the Jac­ques le Marois. The horse is very well at the mo­ment and I am quite con­fi­dent.”

It seems a long time since Wil­liam Hag­gas’ Addeybb had the world at his feet when win­ning the Lin­coln and a Group Two at the start of the sea­son, but he has been in­ac­tive since find­ing the ground too fast in the Lockinge.

Hag­gas said: “I wanted to run him in the Ir­ish Cham­pion; I wanted to run him on Arc week­end, but it just didn’t hap­pen be­cause it was too fast for him.”

Cen­tury Dream has made gi­ant strides this year, be­ing beaten less than a length in the Queen Anne and fin­ish­ing fourth in the Ar­ling­ton Mil­lion last time out.

Trainer Si­mon Cr­is­ford said: “He is do­ing su­per well. We’ve given him a nice break since he ran so well in the Ar­ling­ton Mil­lion in Amer­ica be­cause we’ve had the QEII as his main end-of­sea­son tar­get.

“He ran a huge race in the Queen Anne, when the ground was a lit­tle bit quick for him, but he still fin­ished strongly.

“He likes to get his toe in and it’s a case of the softer the bet­ter for him.”

Im­pres­sive: Roar­ing Lion rid­den by Oisin Mur­phy wins the Jud­dmonte In­ter­na­tional Stakes

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