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Oisin Murphy to take over from Jamie Spencer on Tamfana

Oisin Murphy will take over from Jamie Spencer on luckless 1,000 Guineas fourth Tamfana in Sunday's Prix de Diane with trainer David Menuisier looking for a change of fortune at Chantilly.

The pain of Tamfana's Newmarket near-miss last month has not subsided for Menuisier, but he is confident in his filly's ability to right those wrongs in the Longines-sponsored French Oaks.

Tamfana travelled powerfully in behind runners in the Guineas before finding no way through, with Spencer switching his mount markedly left to the stands' rail only to fail to catch Elmalka by a length.

Menuisier does not blame Spencer for the defeat and insists the change in jockey has nothing to do with the ride at Newmarket.

"Oisin Murphy is riding the filly on Sunday, but it was always the plan as he's number one," the trainer said. "He came down a few times this year and last year to work the filly and other horses in the yard and I've always made it clear to Jamie's agent that whenever Oisin is available, he was going to ride the horse.

"It has nothing to do with the ride in the Guineas. Jamie did absolutely nothing wrong – I said it at the time and I'll say it again. We decided to ride the filly cold to give her a chance to travel, handle the track and pick up the pieces. Jamie ended up having no gap whatsoever and I can't see what else he could have done. Sadly whether Jamie does right or wrong there are always people to criticise him, which isn't fair.

"It's still sore to watch the race, but it is by no means against Jamie. Watching the race I was quite flabbergasted by how easy she was going but it's just one of those things, the stars were nearly aligned but not quite. You can't live the rest of your life with the pain of having nearly won your first British Classic, and we have to move on."

Murphy was aboard Tamfana when she made her seasonal debut at Deauville in April, but rode the Andrew Balding-trained See The Fire in the Guineas.

Tamfana, a daughter of Soldier Hollow, was a 33-1 chance at Newmarket but she heads the betting for the Diane from Dance Sequence and Candala, having been cut to 11-4 (from 7-2) by the majority of firms on Wednesday.

Tamfana won the Prix Miesque as a two-year-old at the track and should have no problem with the step up in trip according to the British-based French trainer, who sees similarities between her and a legendary former winner of the Diane.

Speaking on a France Galop press call, Menuisier said: "On her pedigree, we shouldn't have any doubts about stamina but rather speed, but that's something she's had from when she started to come to herself in September last year.

"She makes me think of Zarkava, which is a big statement. She shows similar traits in that she can be ridden very cold and win a race within a few yards because of her massive turn of foot."

Fresh from Classic glory on Ezeliya, Chris Hayes will attempt to complete the Epsom and Chantilly Oaks double after the Aga Khan and Francis Graffard booked him to partner Candala.

Racing manager Nemone Routh said: "She's in great form, we're happy with her and she will be ridden by Chris Hayes. He came over to ride her on Monday. Pasquier, Barzalona and Guyon are all claimed and we felt we needed to think outside the box."

The Aga Khan ran three in the French Classic in 2012, when he turned to Johnny Murtagh as his "secret weapon" to steer the inexperienced Valyra to success.

Routh said: "When Valyra won the Diane we brought Johnny [Murtagh] over to work the filly, so that's what we did here. Chris liked her and she's very straightforward and professional." 

Prix de Diane (Chantilly, Sunday)
Paddy Power: 11-4 Tamfana, 4 Dance Sequence, 5 Candala, 6 Gala Rea, Aventure, 10 Birthe, 12 Halfday, 14 Sparkling Plenty, 16 Rock N Swing, 20 bar

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