Jockey Oisin Murphy has been booked to ride Wonderful Tonight in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes
Jockey Oisin Murphy has been booked to ride Wonderful Tonight in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes

Menuisier snares Murphy for Wonderful ride

David Menuisier has enlisted champion jockey Oisin Murphy to ride Wonderful Tonight in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes, should the conditions suit.

The four-year-old took out the Hardwicke Stakes on her seasonal reappearance last month. And after success at the Royal meeting, the plan is to send her back to Ascot for Saturday's Group One.

William Buick has been on board for her last two rides, the other proving to be another Ascot win in last year's British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes, but will instead ride Charlie Appleby's Derby hero Adayar.

Menuisier has moved quickly to snap up Murphy, who he believes will do an outstanding job should the ground remain somewhere near its current rating of good to firm, good in places.

He said: "Oisin is a top jockey and we think he is the best possible replacement for William if she runs.

"It's one of those things. In summer, heat can be followed by thunderstorms, so it's not by any means delusional to think we might get some rain. We just want to have the options open."

Test results prompt Palace absence

Thady Gosden has confirmed Palace Pier will not be present for next week's Qatar Sussex Stakes after returning some unsatisfactory blood results.

A showdown with Jim Bolger's 2000 Guineas and St James's Palace Stakes winner Poetic Flare looked on the cards at Goodwood. 

But the four-year-old will miss the race, with his next target set to be a defence of the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

Palace Pier has won on all three starts this season, most recently triumphing in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

But Gosden, who trains the son of Kingman alongside his father John, insists it would have been unfair to push him while not at full strength.

Thady Gosden said: "His bloods are off and obviously it wouldn't have been the right thing to do to try and push him into the Sussex.

"Hopefully, we'll take him to France. He obviously won the Jacques le Marois last year, so it's a good back-up."

Harrington hopes Alpine can Star on the Knavesmire

Jessica Harrington is excited to see Alpine Star back in action on what looks set to be a quality-filled evening card at York on Friday.

Last year's Coronation Stakes heroine is still to reappear this season and connections are hoping to make up for lost time.

A trip to the Knavesmire for the Listed Lyric Fillies' Stakes is first up for the four-year-old before potentially heading to France, where she finished second in each of her three outings last year.

One of those runners-up placings came in the aforementioned Prix Jacques le Marois and a rematch with Palace Pier looks likely.

She also holds an entry for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Harrington cannot wait to see the filly back in action.

She told the Racing Post: "I'm hoping to come to York with her and will travel over. I'm looking forward to getting her out again."

Bailey wants extra welfare onus on trainers

Kim Bailey says it is up to owners and trainers to ensure retired racehorses are properly looked after once they have left the sport.

A BBC Panorama documentary featured footage allegedly taken at an abattoir in Swindon that saw horses euthanised following often gruelling journeys to the facility.

Bailey has described the images as "horrific" and the British Horseracing Authority have responded by arranging meetings with various stakeholders to discuss what is undoubtedly a troubling matter for the sport.

After over 30 years as a trainer, the Thorndale Farm handler has seen it all and says it is the responsibility of all those who hold a daily interest in individual horses to ensure they are afforded a comfortable life once they have finished racing.

Bailey said: "I think it's something trainers need to point out to owners that, when they get involved in racing, they are as responsible as we are to make sure those horses — when they leave racing — have a future.

"You just can't get involved in a horse and say, 'Well, actually it's stopped racing now — I want to get rid of it'. They've got to hold on to responsibility themselves. 

"It's a dual responsibility, from the trainers' point of view and the owners' to make sure we look after where horses go after racing."

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