Tireless Dunlop

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The Independent Online
JOHN DUNLOP, numerically the season's leading trainer, showed yesterday he has not given up the prize-money title fight. Victories with Beauchamp King and Labibeh here and Tria Kemata's third spot at York reduced the win and place earnings lead of Godolphin's Saeed Bin Suroor to just over pounds 51,000. Dunlop has scored 115 wins to his rival's 14, and the Arundel trainer said: "We like to have winners, and we'll keep nibbling away at the money target."

The opportunity to take a huge bite may come courtesy of Bahri in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. Hamdan Al Maktoum's three-year- old will be declared for the 10-furlong Group 1 contest tomorrow and, although the colt has the Breeders' Cup Mile as an alternative, Dunlop said: "I would prefer to go to Newmarket. I am sure he got the trip when he was second to Halling at York; he was just beaten by a very good horse."

Sheikh Hamdan took both yesterday's Group races. An hour after Labibeh coped well with the step up in class and the testing ground to slog home in the Princess Royal Stakes, his speedy Barry Hills-trained juvenile Mubhij was an impressive all-the-way winner of the Cornwallis Stakes.

Before racing began Declan Murphy, due on Tuesday to ride in public for the first time since suffering life-threatening head injuries in a fall 17 months ago, sensationally announced that his comeback ride may be his last.

The 28-year-old jump rider was given the all-clear to resume his career by the Jockey Club four days ago and will reappear in a jockeys' challenge on the Flat at Chepstow. But he revealed yesterday that he has been offered a good job outside racing and said: "I have achieved what I wanted to do, which was get my licence back. I have enjoyed schooling at Josh Gifford's, but I will not really know until I ride in a race if the decision to return is the right one.

"I will get Tuesday out of the way, and then take a couple of days to see how I really feel about it." Murphy, who has rides over fences lined up at Kempton on Saturday, added: "I would have spent the rest of my life feeling bitter if I hadn't had this opportunity. Whatever decision I make will now be a conscious one."

At York, an 81-1 four-timer by Frankie Dettori took the champion jockey's score for the season to 207.

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