Murphy and Codd claim Cheltenham successes
Published 22/03/2016 | 00:00
The clouds parted above Prestbury Park on Thursday, as the heavens unleashed the spirit of St. Patrick on the backs of two magnificent animals that carried the names of a pair of Wexford racing heavyweights into the Cheltenham history books.
Killenagh trainer, Colm Murphy, and Mayglass jockey, Jamie Codd, both previous winners at the greatest National Hunt meeting on earth, returned to the winners' enclosure with Empire of Dirt and Cause of Causes, winners of the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase and Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase respectively.
As Irish raiders took six of the seven races on offer on this year's penultimate card, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned Empire of Dirt provided Murphy with his fourth Cheltenham winner as a trainer.
Meanwhile, the Gordon Elliott-trained Cause of Causes, also a winner at last year's Festival, was jockey Codd's fifth success.
The Model county celebrations didn't end there, with Clonroche's Aidan O'Brien and son, Joseph, teaming up to saddle the winner of Friday's JCB Triumph Hurdle, Ivanovich Gorbatov.
Earlier in the week, Cleariestown rider, Mikey Fogarty, finished the slimmest of seconds in the Champion Bumper race on board Battleford, pipped to the post by a nose by the Nigel Twiston Davies-trained Ballyandy.
There was a Wexford connection to the winner, however, as J.J. Slevin, from Kiltrea, near Enniscorthy, was Ballyandy's groom.
Slevin is attached to the Twiston-Davies stable these days, and was back in Ireland a week last Sunday to ride a winner for his parents, Shea and Elizabeth, at Lingstown.