PAUL MIDGLEY’s horses could not be in better form ahead of today’s meeting at York – the curtain-raiser to tomorrow’s Macmillan charity day on the Knavesmire.
Buoyed by stablemates Desert Law and Monsieur Joe finishing first and second in the Epsom Dash, the sprint that precedes the Derby, Midgley hopes the five-year-old Mu’ajiza can maintain the winning run.
The Westow trainer said: “Mu’ajiza ran great at Haydock – she was just drawn on the wrong side. It’s the best form we’ve had her in all year and we’re expecting a massive run from her.”
Midgley is also hoping for a competitive effort from Sunraider. He took a hike up the weights after bolting up at Pontefract last year but is gradually returning to a more realistic mark.
Reflecting on Epsom, and his success which was then overshadowed by former champion trainer John Gosden’s own one-two in the Derby courtesy of Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs, Midgley said: “It was an excellent day. You feel privileged just to have one good enough to go and run on Derby Day. To come back with a winner and a second is just amazing, really.
“It is a massive lift. We have 28 horses in training and we have been a little bit slow to get going this year. They’ve only really come into form in the last fortnight. And, at the end of the day, it’s the same as whatever job you do – it is about earning money. It is great to have some better horses that you are going for good prize money with.”
Midgley, who has held a training licence since 2003, has enjoyed some notable days in the past – not least a year ago at the Curragh when Line Of Reason landed a valuable handicap and Monsieur Joe was third at the track on the same day.
But Midgley has the recent Epsom feats right up there. He said: “You do need those good winners – it just makes all those long, wet, hard days worthwhile. It can be the worst job in the world but it can be the best job in the world.”