Lightning strikes twice at Goodwood
OISIN MURPHY timed it to perfection as Lightning Spear recorded back-to-back wins in Goodwood’s Celebration Mile.
Having hinted his turn was not far away when finishing third in the Sussex Stakes, the six-year-old duly delivered to become just the second horse to claim successive victories in the Group Two.
David Simcock’s horse hit the front on the line to deny 2016 runner-up Zonderland in the 50th – and most exciting – renewal of the Grade Two.
An exuberant Murphy, 21, punched the air in delight when the photo-finish result was announced.
He said: “I just about got it right. I made no secret about how tactical the race was going to be. It was impossible to know what was going to happen, but you have to have confidence you have chosen to do the right thing and thankfully I just about got it right.
“I’ve lived, breathed and dreamed horse racing since I was a child. Lads say they can leave it behind when they go in the door, but I can’t so it’s important when it goes right.”
The Group One Prix de la Foret at Chantilly is a target.
Top jumps trainer Colin Tizzard has denied reports that 2016 Gold Cup-winning rider Bryan Cooper – demoted by Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown operation – is to become his new stable jockey. He said he had not spoken to Cooper since the Grand National.