Oisin Murphy raring to go for World Cup night

Oisin Murphy wants to “hit the ground running” as he returns to big-race action at Meydan on Saturday.

The dual British champion jockey recently resumed riding after serving a three-month suspension, partnering winners at Chelmsford and Wolverhampton last week before jetting out to Dubai for the World Cup card.

Murphy admits Meydan had been in his sights while he was sidelined.

He said: “(I’m) really pleased to be here, it’s been the target for a couple of months now. I’ve picked up a couple of rides and let’s see how they go.

“That’s what’s kept me going (riding in the big races). I’m fit and ready to kick off my season. I’d been busy before I came out here, I had a few winners so it would be nice to hit the ground running on Saturday.”

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Murphy has five rides, kicking off with Urban Icon in the Godolphin Mile, with the three-times British winner now representing Saudi Arabian handler Saud Saad Alkahtani.

Murphy said: “He’s a horse I know from England when he was trained by Richard Hannon. He ran a super race in Saudi on turf and he’s switching to dirt and stepping up in distance.

“The horse is fit and he’s the highest rated in the race so if he does acclimatise to the change in conditions, hopefully he will go very well.”

Murphy then rides Royal Marine in the Dubai Gold Cup for Saeed bin Suroor, with the one-time Classic hope taking a huge hike in trip to two miles.

He said: “He’s going a long way up in distance, but he works very good and if he relaxes he can be bang there – that’s the key.

“His inside draw (one) is very good, so let’s see what Saeed thinks, although he normally gives me very good rides and it’s great to be teaming up with him again.”

Murphy also rides Lugamo in the UAE Derby and Felix in the Dubai Turf, but he is particularly relishing taking the reins aboard Japanese challenger Loves Only You in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic.

He said: “She’s a Japanese Oaks winner, she comes into this on the back of a Grade Two victory, she’s very fit as well and this has been her plan for a long time.

“It’s nice to get the leg-up from Mr Yahagi and her owners. I’ve been lucky on Japanese horses in the past, so hopefully this one follows that routine.

“Loves Only You has been the one I’ve been concentrating on for weeks and weeks, of course I’ll do my best on all of them, but she’s a star.”

Loves Only You clashes with John Gosden’s Saudi Cup winner Mishriff in the Sheema Classic, with the British runner having been drawn widest of all in stall 10 for the mile-and-a-half contest.

Aidan O’Brien’s Mogul, conversely, has been drawn hard on the inside in stall one.

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