Yorkshire based Ferdy Murphy has made a bit of a habit of having Festival winners in recent years. When Divers (pictured left) won last March, this was Murphy’s tenth success at the meeting that is the fulcrum of the jumps calendar. However, more significantly this was his seventh winner of a handicap race at the Festival in the last six seasons.
With a lot of the activity in the Championship markets at the Festival, I think it is worth looking at which horses could be primed for handicap success in the Murphy yard. Divers will almost certainly run in the Festival Plate in an attempt to follow up on last years’ success. On his third in the Paddy Power 50£ in Free bets! in Novemebr he could be given a good chance, but has seemed out of form since. His run in a hurdle race at Musselburgh on Saturday, although over an inadequate 2 miles, was not good enough to get me interested at 17.00.
In the race Divers won last year, I do like the look of Gone Wrong, who seems to have followed a similar path to Divers. Gone Wrong has won a couple of small field races one over 2 miles, but seems better suited by further and the 2 mile 5 furlongs of the Centenary Novices Chase could be ideal. He is rated 139 to Divers winning mark last year of 132 and only Copper Bleu has won off such a high mark, so he will need to be useful to win. However, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him improve again in March and at odds of 17.00 with Bet365 200£ Free bets!, Gone Wrong is worth a small each-way bet.
I recommend a larger wager on Murphy’s likely contender in the finale at the Festival, which is the Grand Annual 2 mile handicap chase. The race is named after Johnny Henderson, Nicky’s father and you can be sure that the Seven Barrows trainer will be all out to repeat Greenhope’s win in 2006. However, looking at last years’ renewal won by Oiseau Du Nuit, De Boitron in fourth promised to finish much closer coming down the hill, but bundled two out and lost ground, before staying on well to the finish. Unlike Divers, De Boitron ran a really good race at Musselburgh on Saturday and looked to be returning to form. He seems a spring horse, with four of his six wins coming in March and April, with his current mark being 2lbs lower than last year I think he is a solid each-way selection. He can also be backed at 17.00 with William Hill.
From The Stables delivers information direct from 15 leading trainers
A unique offering in UK and Irish racing WWW.FROMTHESTABLES.COM provides the trainers’ views on all their runners every day. Information in the last 7 days has included strong trainer comments on winners at 8/1, 5/1, 4/1 twice ....
Visit www.fromthestables.com to find out more.