Oisin Murphy eager to tackle Craven test with Guineas hope Roaring Lion

    Oisin Murphy is looking forward to being reunited with Roaring Lion in the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.
  • Tuesday 17 April 2018
  • News

Oisin Murphy is looking forward to being reunited with Roaring Lion in the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

John Gosden's colt won three of his four starts as a juvenile, completing his hat-trick with a narrow verdict over last Saturday's Ballysax Stakes winner Nelson in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket.

He went down by just a neck to leading Classic hope Saxon Warrior on his final appearance of 2017 in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster and is long odds-on to see off six rivals on his return to action.

"I sat on him last week and he seems like he's done well from two to three," Murphy told At The Races.

"He's in good order, he's fit and well and I'm really looking forward to him."

Roaring Lion is a general 6-1 third-favourite for the Qipco 2000 Guineas on May 5 behind Aidan O'Brien's pair of Gustav Klimt and Saxon Warrior.

The last horse to win the Craven and follow up in the season's first Classic was Haafhd in 2004.

Roaring Lion is taken on by two Charlie Appleby-trained Group Three winners in Masar and Glorious Journey.

Peter Chapple-Hyam saddles course and distance winner Just Brilliant, while White Mocha is an interesting contender for Hugo Palmer, having won twice from three outings last season.

Denis Quinn's Sir Hamilton and Thunderhooves from John Ryan's yard, both of whom will be big outsiders, complete the line-up.

French challenger Le Brivido is the star attraction in the Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes.

Andre Fabre's four-year-old has not bee seen in competitive action since winning the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer and returns to Britain to make his long-awaited comeback in this six-furlong Group Three.

Aidan O'Brien sends Spirit Of Valor across from Ireland for his seasonal bow and he is joined by Tom Hogan's stable stalwart Gordon Lord Byron.

The last two winners of the race, the Charlie Hills-trained Magical Memory and Kevin Ryan's Brando, also feature in a 10-strong field.

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