Jockey Oisin Murphy thinks “the sky’s the limit” for Gronkowski after his massive run to finish second behind dual champion Thunder Snow in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday night.
The Irish rider was partnering the Phoenix Thoroughbreds owned runner for the first time and gave him a brilliant ride to see the son of Lonhro just touched off in a thrilling finish to the World’s richest race. A regular pilot for the innovative fund in Europe Murphy was full of praise for the colt and his new training team.
“I was very proud to wear those colours in such a big race and to run the race Gronkowski has it’s all credit to the Phoenix Thoroughbred’s team and also trainer Salem bin Ghadayer.” Reflected the jockey. “He jumped put himself in a great spot and travelled really well. He fought all the way to the line and past it, and it took me a while to pull him up. He obviously stays very well; he has a heart as big as his body, so it was a brilliant run.”
“I wanted to give him a good dig out of the gates, and I spent 10 minutes warming him up and really getting him motivated.” explained Murphy “Once he jumped and put himself in a spot, and Capezzano ended up missing it a bit I expected Christophe Soumillion (rider of winner Thunder Snow) not to really take Richie Mullen (North America) on and that’s inevitably what happened. I just used my initiative to let him roll forward because he does stay well, he’s got a huge stride, and he put in a good fight.”
Murphy has been getting plaudits from all corners for his performance in the plate, but in typical fashion, he’s turning his attention to the horse’s future feeling “the Gronk” can go on from this and fulfil his potential.
“Thanks to everyone and the team for letting me ride him and hopefully he can land a grade one win because he would be a very valuable stallion entity going forward being by Lonhro out of a very good female line. He’s still lightly raced so the sky’s the limit for Gronkowski and hopefully he can achieve what he should do.”
For the moment the Phoenix Thoroughbreds team are enjoying the moment, and a decision on the colt’s next target won’t be rushed with all options open at this point.