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Murphy in no hurry to settle on Impervious target

Colm Murphy is keeping his options open for Impervious after the five-year-old took her unbeaten record to three at Down Royal last month.

She added a Grade Three contest there to her earlier wins at Cork and Listowel, to give Murphy plenty of choice for her next start.

The County Wexford trainer can choose from at least three races before Christmas for the mare.

The first is the Grade One Baroneracing.com Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on November 28. Should Impervious miss that, then there are Listed mares’ novice hurdles at Punchestown on December 5 and at Thurles two weeks later.

“She’s doing really well, I’m happy with her. She’s an entry in the Royal Bond. It’s not until the end of the month so we’ll see how she is nearer the time,” said Murphy.

“We’ll probably give her an entry in Thurles and maybe at Punchestown later on as well. Those two are mares’ races.

“She’s got options ad we’ll keep them open. She’s one to look forward to if she keeps improving.”

Zanahiyr back in business with WKD Hurdle victory at Down Royal

Zanahiyr got back to winning ways with a dominant display in the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal.

Beaten favourite in the Triumph Hurdle in March, the Gordon Elliott-trained four-year-old was giving weight away to older horses on this occasion.

Jack Kennedy set out to make it a fair test and while his only serious rival Cask Mate appeared to be travelling better approaching the second-last, when Noel Meade’s runner made a mistake there the race was over.

Zanahiyr (8-13 favourite) came away to win by eight lengths and earned a 16-1 quote for the Champion Hurdle with Paddy Power.

“Jack said he was trying to wind it up the whole way, he actually wasn’t doing a stroke and had his ears pricked,” said Elliott.

“From the second-last to the line he galloped the whole way. We are very happy.

“He’s entered in the Hatton’s Grace (at Fairyhouse), but we’ll have to have a look and see what we think.

“I could see him stepping up in trip at some stage in the season.”

Hollow Games in action at Down Royal
Hollow Games in action at Down Royal (Brian Lawless/PA)

Elliott was earlier on the mark with the promising Hollow Games (1-9 favourite), who made no mistake in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Hurdle under Davy Russell.

“He’s a nice, horse, he’s a big galloper. He only does what he has to do. He’s an Albert Bartlett type,” said Elliott.

Colm Murphy could be heading back into the big time with the unbeaten Impervious (7-2), as she stretched her unbeaten record to three in the Grade Three Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle.

With Elliott’s hot favourite Party Central folding tamely in the straight, Impervious was handy most of the way and came clear for a five-length win under Brian Hayes.

Impervious clears the last in front and went on to win well
Impervious clears the last in front and went on to win well (Brian Lawless/PA)

“She jumps, she travels and I’m delighted with the way she went by the line,” said Murphy, who rejoined the training ranks in 2019 following a two-year hiatus.

“It is just phenomenal how she has improved from the last day. Hopefully she will keep improving. When you have a filly like that and they keep improving, you don’t know where you could stop. We’ll keep dreaming away.

“I’d imagine that (Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham) would be the long-term aim. Whether we get to there I’m not sure, but I’d imagine maybe Christmas and a run after it and we’ll see.

“She is relatively inexperienced for what she is doing. She is one to look forward to.”

When asked to compare her with the mares he has had in the past, he said: “It is hard to compare them, but on the evidence of that she is right up there with them.

“She has stamina and she has plenty of pace. She has the right ingredients to keep climbing the ladder.”

Lifetime Ambition jumps the last on way to victory
Lifetime Ambition jumps the last on way to victory (Brian Lawless/PA)

Sean O’Keeffe got some great leaps out of Jessica Harrington’s Lifetime Ambition on his way to winning what should prove an informative Tote Ten To Follow Beginners Chase.

The market was dominated by classy hurdlers Beacon Edge, Vanillier and Grand Paradis, although Lifetime Ambition was not unbacked at 7-1.

Taking lengths out of his rivals at every fence, he could not be caught, coming home two and three-quarter lengths clear of Beacon Edge with Vanillier not disgraced in third over a trip short of his best.

Assistant trainer Kate Harrington said: “He got his act together at the end of last year and he is a horse that is only filling his frame.

“From when we jumped him over fences in the autumn, he was just different league.

“Sean said he has never ridden a horse to have so much scope as he does. He could be exciting. We have a few jumpers and a few quality ones, but he is exciting.

“The entries for the Drinmore are on Wednesday so he will probably get an entry. I wouldn’t be afraid of stepping him up in class. He’s very good.”