Impervious recovery key to Punchestown outing

Trainer Colm Murphy is keen to see how Impervious recovers from her Cheltenham Festival heroics before deciding whether to pitch her back in against the boys before the end of the season.

The County Wexford handler is no stranger to success in the Cotswolds, with Champion Hurdle hero Brave Inca and Queen Mother Champion Chase victor Big Zeb among his five previous Festival winners.

Murphy retired from the training ranks in 2016, but three years later decided to renew his licence and he was thrilled to be back in the hallowed Prestbury Park winner’s enclosure on Friday.

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“It was fantastic the way it all panned out on the day,” he said.

“When we came back, you’re only hoping you get a nice one, so we’ve been lucky that way.”

Seven years on from his last Festival triumph with Empire Of Dirt, Impervious lined up with leading claims in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase on Cheltenham Gold Cup day after winning each of her three previous races over fences.

She looked like she may have to make do with the runner-up spot after being passed by hot favourite Allegorie De Vassy on the run-in, but fought back tenaciously to regain the lead and she was ultimately well on top at the line.

Brian Hayes and Impervious return to the Cheltenham winner's enclosure
Brian Hayes and Impervious return to the Cheltenham winner’s enclosure (David Davies/Jockey Club)

The Punchestown Festival at the end of next month appears a logical next port of call, even if it means she will have to take on geldings at Grade One level.

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Murphy added: “Touch wood, she seems good. She’s come out of it well and we’re happy.

“We’ll see how she is over the next couple of weeks and then make a decision. Punchestown is still plenty of time away and she was fresh when we ran her in Cheltenham, so we’ll see.

“She might have to take on the boys, but so be it.”

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