The Tin Man makes it third time lucky as Oisin Murphy works wonders
Everything Oisin Murphy touches turns to gold these days – even when he's dealing with tin.
Jockey-of-the-moment Murphy added to the gains he has made during a remarkable breakthrough season when guiding miracle horse The Tin Man to victory in the Sprint Cup, Haydock's premier Flat race.
The consistent James Fanshawe-trained sprinter cracked the £300,000 contest at the third attempt, having finished second in 2016 and third last year, to provide Murphy with his sixth top-flight success of the year, five of those coming in the last eight weeks.
Murphy, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Thursday with a double at Salisbury, has ridden 62 winners in Britain since the start of July, including Roaring Lion in the Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International and Lightning Spear in the Sussex Stakes.
He got the call to replace The Tin Man's longstanding partner Tom Queally at the start of the week and he showed again on his first ride on the 7-1 winner the confidence that is oozing through his veins.
"I'm very lucky to have found so many good horses in a short space of time," said Murphy, who was suspended for two days (September 22-23) for using his whip above the permitted level. "Hopefully they all stay healthy and we'll have some more good days.
"This was great, I've been looking forward to riding him all week. The race didn't really go to plan, I didn't travel great early, but he's a very good horse who deserves it.
"I got the call at the start of the week and then I had a few sleepless nights as I really believed the horse could win. You have to enjoy these days because they don't happen all the time."
Despite reservations about the heavy ground – The Tin Man's previous two Group 1 victories came on a much faster surface at Ascot – the Fred Archer Racing-owned six-year-old picked up strongly off a fast pace to hold Brando by half a length, in a race in which 6-4 favourite Harry Angel suffered more stalls woe before wilting into sixth.
Fanshawe has expertly nursed The Tin Man back to full health after his stable star nearly died when contracting pneumonia on a flight to Hong Kong last December.
"He's a wonderful horse who has been so consistent," said the trainer, who added a second Sprint Cup success to the one Society Rock won in 2012.
"You could argue he's been unlucky a couple of times this year as he ran two very good races at Ascot and Deauville when flying at the end.
"The last furlong was a long way but he's won nicely. They probably went off a bit quick and they got tired in front of him and he's seen the trip out well. Oisin gave him a great ride – he's in form, isn't he?"
All roads now lead to a return to The Tin Man's beloved Ascot for next month's Qipco Champions Sprint, a race he won in 2016.
Paddy Power cut The Tin Man to 3-1 favourite (from 8) to regain the crown he lost to Librisa Breeze last year.
Kevin Ryan was proud of Brando, who had to settle for second again, having filled the same spot behind US Navy Flag in the Darley July Cup.
"He's run a fantastic race – it was typical Brando as he's the forgotten horse in every Group 1," said the trainer. "They've gone hard up front, but he's done everything right and in fairness to James, it was a great training performance to get the winner back after what he endured in Hong Kong."
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