Veteran Queensland hoop Jim Byrne has declared Murphy’s Delight a “good ride” in Saturday’s Queensland Cup 2016 at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
The 45-year-old jumps aboard the visiting Chris Waller-trained import’s back for the first time and is out to salute for punters in this year’s $100,000 Listed Variety Queensland Cup (3200m).
Hurricane Run six-year-old Murphy’s Delight, who started his career in Europe before transferring to Australia in the autumn of 2014, is dominant $2.35 favourite in Queensland Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au this winter.
He had his first run over the two miles on June 11 at Randwick and caught the eye with a second to the fellow Waller-trained Opinion, a former Sydney Cup placegetter, in the Stayers Cup (3200m).
Last start the genuine stayer ran over 2600m back at Randwick on June 25 in a Benchmark 78 carting 59kg to a third behind Not A Gypsy.
This weekend he drops to 55kg in Queensland’s longest race and is drawn in barrier eight of 10 with in-form local hoop Byrne, who rode four Doomben winners at Wednesday’s mid-week meet, coming aboard.
Byrne is a dual Queensland Cup winning jockey having first enjoyed success in 1998 on Insecure before riding Iggi Pop to victory two years ago.
He was without a run last year, but hopes to add a third Queensland Cup trophy to the cabinet on Murphy’s Delight this weekend.
“Murphy’s Delight looks a true stayer so it is a good ride,” Byrne told Racenet.
His biggest rivals according to the bookies is the John Thompson-trained Jiayuguan ($3.80), a former French-trained Teofilo mare who comes off a Listed Winter Cup (2400m) fourth behind Tucanchoo at Rosehill on July 2.
She stretches out over the 3200m for the first time on Saturday and also has her first run at Eagle Farm.
The five-year-old chases her first win since enjoying back-to-back Sydney victories over the mile and a half last November.
Jiayuguan also rises in the weights from 54kg in the Winter Cup to 57kg on Saturday, but has another local jockey Damian Browne coming aboard for the ride in gate five.
Thompson prepared Pop ‘N’ Scotch for a Queensland Cup second two years ago, the same horse runner-up last year for his new trainer Liam Birchley.
Last year’s Queensland Cup winning jockey Robbie Fradd (Mister Impatience) meanwhile shoots for another victory this year riding the Brian Smith-trained My Diamantine who is a $12 shot in the latest markets.
The Eighth Wonder mare is out to improve on a last start eighth in the Caloundra Cup when ridden by Paul Hammersley.
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