AMY MURPHY’S BLOG: Looking back on a Classic season

Amy Murphy looks back on a memorable Classic series ahead of the final one of the flat season on Saturday
Amy Murphy  |  14th September 2018

It has been a relatively quiet time on the track for us this week, Just Later ran a solid race at Chelmsford to finish 3rd under Tom Queally and has come out of the race well, we will certainly look to have him out again soon.

The final Classic of the flat season is upon us this Saturday and whilst I will certainly touch on that later I thought it would be good to have a little look back at the Classic series and the stars we have seen along the way.

The Classic season got underway right on my doorstep at Newmarket in early May.

It came as no surprise to see the Aiden O’Brien colt Saxon Warrior storm to victory in the 2000 Guineas.  Saxon Warrior looked sure to go on and have a fantastic season and although he may not have reached the heights some might have expected, he has finished in the top four in all five of his races this year.  All of those coming at Group 1 level.

The 1000 Guineas that weekend threw up a real surprise.  As you all know I am a huge Laurens fan and I thought she had a great chance going into the race.  I can’t have been the only one who was a little shocked when Bilesdon Brook came out on top.  Laurens did go on to achieve back-to-back Group 1 successes in France and I couldn’t be happier for Karl Burke and everyone involved.

Before you knew it, we were in June and the Epsom festival was upon us.  The Oaks was awash with Aiden O’Brien fillies as he saddled 5 of the 9 runners.  It was no surprise to see one of those go on to claim victory.  Many people had his filly Magic Wand down as the main threat to Godolphin’s Wild Illusion, but it was Forever Together under Donnacha O’Brien who ran out a commanding winner.

Up next was my favourite Classic of the season, The Derby.  Saxon Warrior lined up again and was very well backed leading up to the race.  Epsom is a very demanding track and some horses really don’t take to it and Saxon Warrior just didn’t seem to have the same spark he had shown previously when winning the 2000 Guineas.  The Derby was however all about Godolphin as they finally saw their famous blue colours cross the line in front with Masar.  He absolutely relished conditions and it was a real shame we didn’t get to see him again this season, although I am sure if he comes back in that sort of form we have a lot to look forward to.

That brings us nicely on to the final Classic of the season The Group 1, St Leger Stakes at Doncaster. The Leger is run over 1 mile 6 furlongs and it will be a great race to watch, especially after John Gosden confirmed his unbeaten filly LAH TI DAR will take her place.  I am a big fan of Mark Johnston’s Colt, DEE EX BEE.  I think this step up in trip will really suit and he couldn’t be in better hands with Silvestre De Sousa taking the ride.  With that said all bar Andrew Balding’s filly will have to give weight to LAH TI DAR and it looks like a perfect opportunity for her to prove her class.  She’s done nothing but impress me this year and the way she powered clear at York the last day you would have to say this step up in trip should be well within her reach.  it would not surprise me if she was just far too good for the rest of them.

I hope everyone heading out to the races this weekend has a fantastic time and I will be back next week as we slowly start to up our preparations ahead of the national hunt season.

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