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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Early Morning ride for Payne could be worth beating the bug for

Hayley Turner wins last year's Shergar Cup Mile on Early Morning. The grey bids for a repeat, hopefully with Michelle Payne aboard
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2.50 Ascot
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile | 1m | 4yo+ | ITV4/RUK

Pioneering Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne has her best chance of getting on the scoresheet on Early Morning here. The grey won the race 12 months ago under teammate Hayley Turner and returns only 2lb higher in the handicap.

Payne, who has been feeling unwell with a stomach bug, must pass a doctor to compete. The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey has ridden only one winner in Britain, on Warwick's Flat course before its closure back in 2009 during a working holiday.

She rode Kaspersky, who is to join her stables in Australia later this year, to finish fifth in the Queen Anne Stakes in June and is set to be reunited with that horse at Newbury next Saturday.

Born to ride

Umberto Rispoli, who partners the likely favourite Breakable, has also only one win to his name in the UK, recorded at Kempton in 2008 when he spent a brief spell with Marco Botti.

The Italian now divides his time between France in the summer and Hong Kong in the winter, while in his home country he is remembered for breaking the 229 wins record of Gianfranco Dettori, father of Frankie, when riding 245 winners in 2009.

The son of a jockey also named Umberto, he makes his second Shergar Cup appearance here.

What they say

Harry Dunlop, trainer of Early Morning
He ran a super race last year and likes the track. I hope it is drying too. On the day of the Hunt Cup it was hot and he got quite upset in the heat so we have put a line through that. His previous run was very good.

Dominic Ffrench-Davis, trainer of Manson
He's in great order although there is a danger it will be too soft for him if it doesn't dry out. I have put cheekpieces on to try to sharpen him up early in the race. He tends to start a little bit slow and finish well.

Charlie McBride, trainer of Brigliadoro
He probably found seven furlongs a bit too sharp for him in the Bunbury Cup where they went too fast for him. The ground will be slower, he is back over a mile and seems to like Ascot. I think he'll run well.

Jim Goldie, trainer of Nicholas T
He ran okay at seven furlongs last time and a mile will probably suit him better. He was closest at the finish but probably wasn't ridden to his best advantage. The track and ground should suit too.

He ran a super race last year and likes the track. I hope it is drying too
E.W. Terms
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