Irish mare is punters' fancy

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The Independent Online

Many punters have winnings to play up after Katy Nowaitee landed a punt in the Cambridgeshire on Saturday, and the horse they seem to expect to complete their Autumn Double is a mare called Tryphaena. A 25-1 chance for the Cesarewitch Handicap less than a week ago, Willie Mullins' runner is now the 6-1 clear favourite for the 18-furlong marathon at Newmarket on Saturday week after several days of sustained support. The 8-1 second favourite is another Irish challenger, Tony Martin's Royal Ascot winner Barba Papa.

Many punters have winnings to play up after Katy Nowaitee landed a punt in the Cambridgeshire on Saturday, and the horse they seem to expect to complete their Autumn Double is a mare called Tryphaena. A 25-1 chance for the Cesarewitch Handicap less than a week ago, Willie Mullins' runner is now the 6-1 clear favourite for the 18-furlong marathon at Newmarket on Saturday week after several days of sustained support. The 8-1 second favourite is another Irish challenger, Tony Martin's Royal Ascot winner Barba Papa.

The Tote cut Tryphaena to 16-1 last Friday, and then again on Sunday to 8-1. While gambles such as this can often have as much to do with a bandwagon effect as a horse's actual form, she could certainly not have a much lighter weight or a shrewder trainer plotting her path towards Newmarket.

Tryphaena is set to carry 7st 9lb in the long handicap for the Cesarewitch - Mullins will wait to see whether the weights go up before deciding on a jockey - which is a very fair burden on the basis of her last outing at Down Royal, where she finished fourth in the Ulster Derby. Her trainer also expects improvement over the Cesarewitch's extended trip.

"At the moment she's a definite runner and I think she's in good form,'' Mullins said yesterday. "She's easy enough to train and it's always been the plan to go for this race. The ground won't worry us, although I think she's better on soft, and I think the trip will particularly suit her, because a mile and a half was just too short for her at Down Royal. She won over two miles in the Leopardstown November Handicap and I think that's more her trip.''

There will be no ride in the race, though, for Ray Cochrane, who revealed yesterday that he will be on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.

Cochrane suffered a back injury in the air crash at Newmarket on 1 June in which the pilot, Patrick Mackey, was killed, and then aggravated the problem in a fall after racing at Salisbury in August. He has not ridden since, missing several notable engagements, including Arctic Owl's victory in the Irish St Leger.

"Nothing has changed I'm afraid,'' Cochrane said yesterday. "I went jogging yesterday morning and I'm pretty sore today - it's just going to take time. Basically it's the injury I got in the plane crash and I've had two falls on the same point since. It's a pain when you miss a Classic winner but what can you do?''

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