Demuro gets the Party started
ITALIAN jockey Mirco Demuro – recruited by Scottish trainer Mark Johnston – made an immediate impression on his first visit to Ayr yesterday by steering Party Royal home to a decisive victory in the opening maiden.
The well-travelled rider, who has ridden Group 1 winners around the world, decided to try his hand in Britain this season due to the depressing downward spiral of the sport in his homeland. He was noticed immediately by Middleham-based Johnston, who provided the mount on 5-4 favourite Party Royal.
A promising fourth on his debut at Chester, the juvenile was pushed two lengths clear of Cappadocia with Demuro only resorting to his hands and heels.
“I was only able to watch the race on TV but it looked a good performance,” said Johnston. “He got a bit stewed up beforehand, which was a bit of a concern, but I thought he ran really nicely first time out at Chester and I expected him to come on a bit for that, as it’s such a sharp track. At this time of year owners are wanting to go to Royal Ascot. I’m not sure what he has beaten or whether he’ll go, but it’s something to think about.”
With no firm stable jockey and Silvestre de Sousa, who rode many winners for Johnston’s powerful yard last season now required by Godolphin, there could be a few more opportunities for Demuro.
“He rode for me in the Shergar Cup at Ascot, but I’ve not met him since he’s been back,” Johnston said. “I think his record of five wins from 14 rides for me speaks for itself.”
Tonight, Godolphin’s Opinion Poll can make a triumphant British return in the Betfair Henry II Stakes at Sandown. The six-year-old confirmed himself as a major player in the staying division last term when finishing second in the Ascot Gold Cup before landing the Goodwood Cup. Also victorious at York, he claimed second on his two final starts before jetting out to Dubai.
Mahmood Al Zarooni had him ready to go in good time there and after a warm-up run, he was a convincing winner of a controversial inaugural Dubai Gold Cup. Regardless of the merits of that race, Opinion Poll could do little more than win and if he is on his A-game here, he will take all the beating.
Just six go to post in the Betfair Brigadier Gerard Stakes, with Carlton House likely to be a short price to get the Jubilee weekend off to a cracking start for his owner, The Queen. However, I’m A Dreamer is fancied to spoil the party after making an eyecatching return to action at York earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Maybe is one of Aidan O’Brien’s six runners in a field of 14 declared for the Investec Oaks at Epsom tomorrow, and will be ridden by his son, Joseph.
The daughter of Galileo bids to go two places better than in the 1,000 Guineas, when she was a beaten favourite behind her stablemate Homecoming Queen.
The Ballydoyle trainer is also represented by the unbeaten Kissed, Betterbetterbetter, Devotion, Twirl and Was.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
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