National target for Time

Big Time may have earned a tilt at Group One company following his fine effort in the Railway Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.

National target for Time

Trainer John Murphy is thinking of stepping the Kheleyf colt up to seven furlongs for the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh in September after he put up a good performance to take the runner-up spot, just half a length behind Sudirman, in the six-furlong Group Two on only his second start.

“He’s come out of the race well and everything is fine,” said the County Cork handler.

“We were delighted with the run and we’ve always loved him. he’s a lovely horse and I think he’ll stay. He’s a big horse so we won’t overdo him a huge amount at two.

“I’m sure he’ll stay seven furlongs at two and probably the way to go would be the National Stakes. That looks the way we are aiming now.

“I would say that could be his next run, but we’ll see. We’ll talk to the owner and see how things are going.”

Meanwhile Ambivalent could go in search of further Group One honours in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks after a fantastic all-the-way win in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

Placed in the Middleton Stakes at York and the Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock on her first two starts of the campaign, a change of tactics a superbly judged ride from Johnny Murtagh saw her strike Group One gold in Sunday’s feature event.

While the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood over the same 10-furlong distance is an obvious target, trainer Roger Varian feels his four-year-old could be seen in a better light in the mile-and-a-half Yorkshire Oaks on August 22.

Varian said: “She’s fine this morning. She seems to have come out of the race well.

“Johnny gave her a brilliant ride. He’s a very good jockey, his confidence is high after Royal Ascot and he knows his way around the Curragh better than anyone, so it was great it all worked out so well.

“It’s possible she could go for the Yorkshire Oaks next. The trip wouldn’t be a problem as she stays well and she ran well at York in the Middleton earlier in the year.

“The other option is the Nassau, but I do think York would probably suit her better than Goodwood. It’s only a tentative plan, but it could be the Yorkshire Oaks next for her.”

Varian is not sure whether similarly bold tactics will be employed on her next start.

He said: “I don’t think we need to decide now how we would ride her over a mile and a half. I think horses benefit from a change in tactics from time to time.

“Sometimes they get sick of making the running, so we’ll see what happens nearer the time, if we decide to go to York.”

* Richard Hughes galloped to his quickest ever 100 winners in a season with a treble at Windsor.

The reigning champion jockey landed his trio on Nenge Mboko (10-11 favourite) in the seller, Realize (2-13) in a six-furlong maiden and Choral Festival (5-1) in the fillies’ handicap.

Ryan Moore, Hughes’s closest pursuer in the title race, got in on the treble act with La Tinta Bay (5-1), Evangelist (7-4 favourite) and Magistral (5-6 favourite) to go to 90 for the campaign.

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