Tag Archive for: Amy Murphy

De La Sayette shines with Nottingham double

Benoit De La Sayette celebrated a red-letter day at Nottingham on Tuesday, bringing up his first-ever double when steering Yummylicious to victory in the Watch On Racing TV Fillies’ Handicap.

The Newsells Park Stud-bred daughter of Dubawi was a maiden heading into the 10-furlong handicap, but following a pair of eye-catching performances in the early part of the season, was sent off the 9-4 joint favourite at Colwick Park.

De La Sayette had the filly up with the pace throughout and she looked better than her mark of 76 when coming home two and a half lengths clear of the runner-up, Thunder Queen.

“She’s been very unlucky, she tries her heart out and fought to the line. She broke well and I just tried to slot her next to the leader and guide me and she made work very easy today,” said the winning rider.

“I rode her at Beverley a few weeks ago and she was very unlucky, but it gave me a good indication of what she was like and that helped me out.

“Every winner counts and they are the last two winners of my 7lb claim. I’ve still got 7lb for the next few days and I’ll hopefully be able to use it wisely.”

De La Sayette was earlier on the scoreboard with Dreams Of Thunder, who made a winning stable debut for Amy Murphy in the racingtv.com Fillies’ Handicap.

Nottingham Races – Tuesday May 17th
Dreams of Thunder ridden by jockey Benoit Sayette wins the racingtv.com Fillies’ Handicap at Nottingham racecourse (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The winning trainer was not at Nottingham, but was thrilled to follow the win from her satellite yard in France.

She said: “She’s a nice filly, we’ve just taken our time with her and maybe put her to sleep too much judging on today. She probably wants a step up to seven (furlongs) because we were mindful that today we wanted to drop her in and relax then come home strong.

“She had plenty of weight, so it was great to use Benoit and his claim to good effect and he got the job done.”

Another jockey enjoying a double on the card was Tom Marquand, who was successful aboard King Of Jungle (4-1) for Ed Walker in the Follow @RacingTV On Twitter Handicap and Canterbury Bell (11-10 favourite) for William Haggas in the concluding Join Racing TV Now Classified Stakes.

Kalamity Kitty kept on well to bring up a four-timer in the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap. Ed de Giles’ 13-8 favourite has been in rude health in the early part of 2022 and her trainer was delighted that the four-year-old made a successful step up to two miles.

“I think she is still capable of winning over one-mile-six, but this race came up and we thought it would bring more out of her,” said the winning trainer.

“She only does what she has to do, so hopefully the handicapper can’t be too hard on her. She’s still developing and she’s only four and she’s only going to get better.

“We’ll exhaust her handicap mark and then maybe she could jump, she’s a lovely horse.”

Garner was a winner for Her Majesty
Garner was a winner for Her Majesty (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The Queen’s Garner (13-2) made all to open his account in good fashion in the opening British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes, however, any immediate plans for the Royal winner may be on hold with the horse reported to be lame following the race.

Assistant trainer Matthew Fielding, representing trainers Harry and Roger Charlton on course, said: “He just came off the track lame, so he’s just going to head off to the vets now for further assessment.”

In a day of short-priced winners Atheby (11-4 favourite), obliged favourite backers to get off the mark in the Bet At racingtv.com Restricted Maiden Stakes, while in the second division, Pink Carnation (9-4) put her experience to good use to hold off Roger Varian’s debutant Kind Gesture.

Amy Murphy looking forward to runner named in honour of England manager

Amy Murphy is hoping to name a horse in tribute to the England manager after reserving the name Southgate with the British Horseracing Authority following England’s Euro 2020 success.

The squad have been led to the semi-final by Gareth Southgate and could yet reach the final if they are able to defeat Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday.

Murphy’s dual-purpose Newmarket yard is named Southgate Stables, and the long-standing link between football and racing has been recently exemplified by Mr McCann’s successive victories for Tom Dascombe, with the two-year-old owned by a group of current and former Liverpool players that includes Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Adam Lallana.

Amy Murphy (pink coat) with star jumper Kalashnikov
Amy Murphy (pink coat) with star jumper Kalashnikov (Paul Harding/PA)

“We’re always trying to be inventive and think of different ways to attract owners into the yard,” she said.

“The yard is called Southgate Stables, so as soon as they got through the group round it made sense to go and reserve it.

“In this game you’ve got to always be looking for new ideas and new ways to move forward, that one connection with somebody new or existing can only be good.

“There are lots of links (with racing and football), there’s obviously Michael Owen and other owners, the links are already there.”

Min tops 50 contenders for Ryanair Chase gold

Last year’s winner Min is one of 50 entries for the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Having previously chased home Altior in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Willie Mullins-trained Min finally enjoyed his day in the sun at the showpiece meeting 12 months ago.

Having kicked off the current campaign by winning his third John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, the 10-year-old is the ante-post favourite to successfully defend his Ryanair crown and become just the second dual winner after Albertas Run (2010 and 2011).

An 11-strong Mullins contingent also includes Allaho, Chacun Pour Soi, Kemboy, Melon and Tornado Flyer, although several have alternative engagements in one or both of the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Other contenders for the Ryanair include last year’s runner-up Saint Calvados, trained by Harry Whittington, Henry de Bromhead’s Savills Chase winner A Plus Tard, Nicky Henderson’s superstar chaser Altior and Kim Bailey’s Imperial Aura, who is set to run in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton this weekend.

Bailey said: “Imperial Aura is in good form and he runs on Saturday – that race is essentially his prep run for the Cheltenham Festival, where he will hopefully line up in the Ryanair Chase.

“He won at the Festival last year and I have been delighted with his performances so far this year.

“I am very happy with him and Saturday should hopefully tell us more, but Cheltenham is definitely a target for him.”

Amy Murphy is considering multiple options for Kalashnikov ahead of a likely tilt at the Ryanair.

Having shaped with promise when seventh on his reappearance over hurdles at Haydock, Murphy’s stable star was a well-backed favourite for the rescheduled Peterborough Chase at Cheltenham last month and emerged with plenty of credit in finishing second to Mister Fisher.

She said: “Kalashnikov in great form. He’s been in very light work since Cheltenham – we haven’t done a lot with him at all.

“We’ve freshened him up. He’s received an entry in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival and he’ll have one more run between now and then.

“I’ve put him in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster, there’s Newbury in mid-February and Warwick in mid-February as well, so he’s got a few different options.”

Marco Ghiani keeps his name in lights at Lingfield

Red-hot apprentice Marco Ghiani continued his sensational run of form with a double at Lingfield on Tuesday.

Since booting home two winners at Southwell on New Year’s Day, the Italian-born jockey had added further successes at Wolverhampton and Lingfield to take his recent record to five winners from his last seven rides ahead of his return to the Surrey circuit.

The 5lb claimer kept the run going with victory aboard the Amy Murphy-trained Jennivere in the Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Handicap, with the 100-30 chance clinging on by a short head from Nozieres.

Murphy said: “She’s a tough little filly and she deserved that as she probably should have won the last day – she just ran out of time.

“She’s a home-bred, so it’s great to get a second win on the board for her.

“Marco is riding out of his skin and is definitely a jockey to follow.”

An hour later, Ghiani successfully combined with boss Stuart Williams as Passional completed her hat-trick in fine style in the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap.

Bought for just 5,500 guineas out of Simon and Ed Crisford’s yard in October, the daughter of Footstepsinthesand was placed on her first two starts for Williams, before bolting up at Southwell last month.

Having followed up at Wolverhampton on Saturday, Passional was the 8-15 favourite under a 5lb penalty and quickened up smartly to score by a length and a half.

Williams, saddling a fifth winner from his last five runners, said: “I think she was a bit unlucky in a few of her races for Simon and our family actually bred her, so we always kept an eye on her progress.

“When she went to the sales we said we’d try to buy her back and see if we could win a couple of races with her. It’s worked out well.”

Passional (centre) charges home at Lingfield
Passional (centre) charges home at Lingfield (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

On Ghiani, the Newmarket handler added: “He’s doing really well. He had a really good year two years ago and I didn’t want him to ride his claim out through the winter, so I sent him over to Brendan Walsh in America, just to ride trackwork for three or four months.

“He came back just before the start of the season here last year and obviously we went straight into lockdown. He ended up not riding for about seven months and lost all the contacts that he’d built up the year before, so in hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do.

“It’s just taken him a while to build his contacts back up again. My horses weren’t in spectacular form after the lockdown either, so little things like that conspired against him.

“Now we’re in better form, Marco has been around for a bit longer and is getting more rides off other people and it’s all come together.”

Elsewhere on the card, the Roger Varian-trained La Tihaty (10-11 favourite) went one better than when runner-up on his course and distance debut with an emphatic victory in the Ladbrokes Watch Racing Online For Free Novice Stakes.

George launches dual assault on Peterborough prize

Clondaw Castle and Bun Doran give Tom George a strong hand in the rearranged Fitzdares Club Loves The Peterborough Chase at Cheltenham.

High-class two-mile chaser Bun Doran will step up to two and a half miles for the first time since the spring of 2018 in a Grade Two contest that was saved from last Sunday’s abandoned meeting at Huntingdon.

Clondaw Castle was not due to contest the race last weekend, but is a definite contender at Prestbury Park judged on his Newbury victory of a fortnight ago.

George said: “Clondaw Castle was second in the Old Roan at Aintree on his first run of the season and won well at Newbury. He’s in good form I think he’s progressing well.

“He was also in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup on Saturday, but I was worried the ground might be too soft by then.

“We’re going into unknown territory with Bun Doran – stepping him up in trip. He’s too high in the weights for a lot of two-mile handicaps, so we’ll see how he gets on over two and a half. I’m open-minded about it really.”

Another leading fancy who was not due to run at Huntingdon is Kalashnikov.

Kalashnikov returns to chasing for Amy Murphy
Kalashnikov returns to chasing for Amy Murphy (Nigel French/PA)

Amy Murphy’s stable star prefers a left-handed track – and having been just touched off in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle a few years ago, he clearly acts at Cheltenham.

“Kalashnikov is in good shape,” said Murphy.

“I was really pleased with his comeback effort at Haydock (over hurdles), where he got tired late on and probably didn’t stay three miles on that ground.

“The Peterborough Chase wasn’t Plan A, but now it is being run on a left-handed track, it made sense to go as he is much better going this way round.”

On the other hand, Paul Nicholls is not as enamoured the race was moved to Cheltenham for Dolos.

He told Betfair: “I was very keen on his chances in this race on Sunday at Huntingdon as he is well suited by racing on a flat track.

“Two and a half miles is ideal for Dolos, who is so consistent and again ran a fine race under top weight at Cheltenham in October when fourth to Rouge Vif.

“But I’d have been more confident if the race hadn’t been transferred from Huntingdon to Cheltenham.”

Nicky Henderson is once again the man to beat in the race, with both Top Notch and Mister Fisher declared.

Top Notch won his first Peterborough Chase at Taunton
Top Notch won his first Peterborough Chase at Taunton (Julian Herbert/PA)

Henderson has won the race seven times and is looking to join Henrietta Knight on eight wins, with Top Notch himself bidding for a Peterborough hat-trick on his reappearance.

Henderson told Unibet: “I am sure that the wind operation will help Top Notch. It has helped him, but it has held me up.

“It is possible that he might need the run, but he is able to do another piece of work (with the extra week), which might just help him.

“The rain came so suddenly before Mister Fisher’s reappearance at Cheltenham, really I should have taken him out, because we knew it was pointless running him, but the rain only came an hour before the race and we were committed.

“Nico (de Boinville) was well aware of it and he pulled him up in bags of time. It was horrible that day, we had a whole lot of horses that just couldn’t cope with it at all and he was one of them. He seems in really good form at home.”

Black Corton represents Paul Nicholls
Black Corton represents Paul Nicholls in the long-distance handicap chase (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Venetia Williams-trained Fanion D’Estruval and Glen Forsa from Mick Channon’s yard complete the field.

In the Grade Three Unibet Handicap Chase over three and a quarter miles, Nicholls runs top-weight Black Corton, who departed just after halfway in the race won by Imperial Aura at Ascot last time out.

“He was rather unlucky at Ascot last time when he stumbled on landing and parted company with Bryony Frost,” said Nicholls.

“Life isn’t easy for him off a mark of 160, but he seems very well and I’m putting on cheek pieces to try to sharpen him up a bit.

“He’s won twice at Cheltenham in the past and will run his usual genuine race, though he wouldn’t want too much rain overnight.”

Court Maid won a valuable prize at Fairyhouse just 12 days ago for the father and son combination of Tom and David Mullins – and turns out relatively quickly under a penalty.

Kalashnikov firmly in the mix for rescheduled Peterborough Chase

Amy Murphy’s stable star Kalashnikov is set to return to Cheltenham for the rescheduled Fitzdares Club Loves The Peterborough Chase.

The seven-year-old was not due to contest the Grade Two contest in its original guise at Huntingdon, due to his preference for left-handed tracks.

However, with Huntingdon’s fixture abandoned due to flooding, the race was rescheduled and switched to Friday’s card at Cheltenham, where Kalashnikov was narrowly beaten in the 2018 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Murphy said: “The Peterborough Chase wasn’t Plan A as usually it’s run right-handed, but now it’s been switched to a left-handed track, he’s very much an intended runner.”

Kalashnikov suffered a broken blood vessel on his final start of last season when fifth behind Altior in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury.

But Murphy was encouraged by his start to the new campaign, when seventh over hurdles at Haydock last month.

She added: “We were very happy with the run at Haydock. He probably just didn’t quite see out the three miles, but he’ll have come on plenty for that and there was no bleed, which was the main thing.”

Seven of the nine horse declared for the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon are again in contention – Bun Doran, Top Notch, Mister Fisher, Al Dancer, Dolos, Fanion D’Estruval and Glen Forsa – but Nuts Well and Forest Bihan are not.

Clondaw Castle, Master Tommytucker and Militarian are also among the 11-strong field.

Murphy eyes Haydock hurdles return for Kalashnikov

Kalashnikov is set to return to the smaller obstacles in the Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle.

Amy Murphy’s star has proved himself a very smart performer over fences in the last two seasons, winning a Grade One as a novice at Aintree and finishing second in the Old Roan last year.

His form tailed off in the second half of the campaign, though, when he broke blood vessels, and he faces a step up in trip back over hurdles on Saturday.

Murphy said: “We’re very much planning to run as long as it is not bottomless.

“He stayed two and a half miles well last year. Obviously he’s had a few issues, so this is very much a starting point for him.

“We’ll just take it as it comes for the rest of the season – if he loves it on Saturday he could stay over hurdles, but the plan is just to get him back on song – fingers crossed we have no more bleeding episodes.

“Prior to those last two runs, he’d never been out of the first two (when completing) and both times he bled.

“We’ve put everything into getting him back. We’ve given him plenty of time, we’ve freshened him up and please God it was something underlying rather than him having an issue.”

There are 24 still in contention for the £80,000 prize, which is no longer run over fixed brush hurdles.

David Pipe’s prolific winner Main Fact is among the market leaders, having lost just once in nine outings for current connections.

His last three wins have come on the Flat, seeing him rise from a mark of 60 to 78 – while his current jumps rating of 147 is 49lb higher than when he joined the yard. Pipe could also run Duc De Beauchene.

Midlands Grand National – Uttoxeter Racecourse
Main Fact arrives on a winning streak (Tim Goode/PA)

There are two possible Irish contenders in Colm Murphy’s Relegate, winner of the 2018 Champion Bumper for Willie Mullins, and The Jam Man – trained in Northern Ireland by Ronan McNally.

The Jam Man was last seen bolting up off a much lower mark over fences in the valuable Troytown Chase at Navan.

Hughie Morrison’s Third Wind, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Wholestone, Royal Ascot winner Who Dares Wins and Fergal O’Brien’s Imperial Alcazar are just a few other potential major contenders in what is sure to be a competitive affair.

Last year’s Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase winner Itchy Feet is among the entries for the Graduation Chase on the card – but he is also entered in a Grade Two at Ascot.

Good Boy Bobby, Master Tommytucker and Windsor Avenue are possible opponents should he run on Merseyside.

Day to remember for Tom Buckley at Kempton

Conditional jockey Tom Buckley had more than one reason to celebrate the wide-margin success of Breffniboy at Kempton.

Not only did victory aboard the Johnny Farrelly-trained six-year-old in the Like Racing TV On Facebook Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle complete the first double of his career, but it also saw him ride out his 7lb claim.

Having travelled well throughout, the 7-4 favourite put the race to bed in a matter of strides once sent on by Buckley before cruising home to victory by 13 lengths.

Buckley said: “It’s my first double. I’m very thankful to a lot of people. It’s a great day.

“I knew this one had a good chance. His race last time was run on ground he didn’t like.

“I’m speechless. It’s my best day ever. I’ve had two brilliant rides for two brilliant trainers. You can’t ask for much more. Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards.”

Storm Goddess (centre) before going on to win the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (David Davies/PA)
Storm Goddess (centre) before going on to win the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (David Davies/PA)

Storm Goddess denied Younevercall a third win in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle when getting up late on under Buckley to prevail by a nose – much to the surprise – and delight – of trainer Charlie Longsdon.

The Chipping Norton handler said: “I thought we were beat. I thought one more stride we would have won and I thought they had held on.

“If she had winged the last she would have won comfortably. She needs three miles now.

“Any Pertemps qualifier is good to win.”

Jack Quinlan got in on the double act, highlighted by a third course success for Mercian Prince (11-2), who jumped his rivals into submission to land the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap Chase by 12 lengths.

Winning trainer Amy Murphy said: “It is through no fault of his own that he has had a few wind issues. Some days it catches him out and on days like today, when he gets into a good breathing rhythm, he never misses a beat and shows all of his old exuberance.

“We put the visor on to keep him focused and that is the Mercian Prince we all know. It was fab to see him and he is Jack’s best mate and favourite horse in the yard by a mile.

“We gave him a little spin over hurdles with our 10lb conditional which has obviously done the trick.”

Mick Quinn scored plenty of hat-tricks during his time as a footballer and Pink Sheets completed one of her own to get the ball rolling for Quinlan with a tenacious victory in the Bet At racingtv.com Novices’ Hurdle.

The Newmarket handler said of the 85-40 winner: “ I love her to bits and we got her to have a bit of fun with.

“I thought she would be in the first three if not better, but I was a little bit apprehensive about taking on the geldings.

“She needs the better ground and it was either here or Huntingdon and we decided to go for this race and it has paid dividends. ”

Oscar Rose on her way to landing the Weatherbys TBA Mares' Handicap Chase (David Davies/PA)
Oscar Rose on her way to landing the Weatherbys TBA Mares’ Handicap Chase (David Davies/PA)

Fergal O’Brien moved to within two winners of reaching a half-century for the season after Oscar Rose put in an exemplary round of jumping in the Weatherbys TBA Mares’ Handicap Chase.

O’Brien said of the 9-4 favourite: “She was very good and I could not fault her there. Liam (Harrison) gave her a lovely ride.

“She was a bit keen over hurdles, but fences just help her as she backs off them a bit and gives herself a chance.”

No rush to make plans Kalashnikov return

Amy Murphy is taking her time as she plans a comeback for her stable star Kalashnikov.

The seven-year-old gave Murphy’s Newmarket yard a first Grade One success when taking the Devenish Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree in 2019.

He looked to have retained his form the following autumn when runner-up in two successive handicap chases, including the Grade Two Old Roan Chase, also at Aintree.

The gelding subsequently lost his way, however, running with an uncharacteristic lack of zest to trail home in both the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Cheltenham and the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury.

He was later to found to have burst blood vessels on both occasions and has not been seen on a racecourse since, but Murphy reports her stable star is well and gaining fitness ahead of his return.

“He’s fine, he’s only just started to gallop so we’ve nothing much to report as of yet,” she said,

“Touch wood it’s been so far, so good.”

Murphy currently has no firm plans for the seven-time winner, who is still in the earlier stages of preparation.

“We haven’t put him under any pressure yet, so we can’t really know where we’re at,” she said.

“But so far he’s been fine.

“He burst (a blood vessel) badly twice, but there was nothing underlying. For the meantime we’ll just continue to bring him along slowly and see how we go.”