Darby finding success with European stayers

Spirit Ridge has been a summer success story while Harpo Marx, which is a son of Galileo out of flying Australian mare Nechita, has started to deliver with a couple of wins this preparation after being gelded and will look for a Saturday win at Rosehill on the weekend.

“We didn’t buy him because of Nechita. Hubie said he was the right type of horse after he ran second to Il Paradiso [with Yonkers third] in Ireland and said he might end up in a sale,” Darby said. “A couple of months later he did.

“When you buy out of Coolmore, you know that you are getting a nice horse. They want them to be group 1 horses over there, and if they’re not up to it they sell them.

“We just want a horse at the right price that could win maybe a stakes race here, so our expectations are lower.”

Harpo Marx won his maiden at Tipperary before finishing midfield in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and was then completely outclassed behind Stradivarius in the Goodwood Cup in 2019.

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“When we got him here he was really dour, but after we gelded him he has got a bit of speed in his legs,” Darby said.

“He won those two in a row and then last time he didn’t see the horses on his inside. He is the sort of bloke that switches off when he finds the front but will fight if something comes at him.

“Rachel [King] knows him pretty well and she thinks he can win at 2000m, so we are hopeful heading into Saturday.”