Murphy out to claim Sprint Cup glory on Strath Burn


Strath Burn (near) just fails in last year’s Sprint Cup at Haydock

  PICTURE: John Grossick (  

 By Peter Scargill 9:00AM 2 SEP 2016 

JOCKEY Oisin Murphy is hoping Robert Cowell has worked his sprinting magic with Strath Burn, who bids to go one better than last year in the Group 1 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday.

Strath Burn was beaten just a short-head by Twilight Son in the 6f contest in 2015 when trained by Charlie Hills, but has struggled to match that form in five outings since.


The four-year-old was switched to Cowell from Hills by owner Qatar Racing in June in an effort to reinvigorate him and he has finished third, beaten a length and three quarters, on both starts for his new trainer.

Murphy, first rider for Qatar Racing, feels Strath Burn is slowly coming back to himself and feels his chances will be aided if the ground at Haydock rides on the easier side of good.

He said: “Strath Burn’s work at the start of the year was very good but then he lost his way before his first run. He’s taken time to come together and we’re not certain that he’s 100 per cent yet, but Robert is happy with him.

“He still retains all of his ability, will be back over six furlongs and has the cheekpieces back on. We’re hoping for a little bit of an ease in the ground, though.”

Star ‘in super order’

Strath Burn is a 25-1 chance for victory with Dancing Star, who Murphy would have partnered in the absence of the injured David Probert if Qatar Racing did not have a runner, shorter in the betting at 8-1 for trainer Andrew Balding.

Writing in his British Champions Series blog, Murphy added: “It’s terrible for David to not be riding Dancing Star she’s in super order. She only does what she has to do at home but they’re very happy and it’s all systems go for her. Obviously if I can’t win on Strath Burn then I’d be pleased to see Dancing Star win it for Andrew.”

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