Murphy earns big prize
Another big Sunday prize went the way of Killenagh trainer Colm Murphy's stable as Marlbrook landed the €50,000 Woodlands 100 Club Nás Na Ríogh Novice Handicap Chase at Naas on Sunday.
The J.P. McManus-owned eight-year-old was sent straight to the front by Barry Geraghty and he never saw another rival on the way to an impressive six-length success over Vincangelome.
Marlbrook was returned the 2-1 favourite and could be Cheltenham Festival-bound for one of the handicaps now.
Crossabeg trainer Liz Doyle will also consider a tilt at the Champion Bumper with Without Limites following his runaway victory at Punchestown last week.
The 4-7 favourite was sent straight to the front by Finny Maguire and the giant grey never saw another rival on the way to a twelve-length victory over his main market rival, Cadeau Du Bresil.
Without Limites carries the colours of the Goliath Syndicate, who owned 2013 Champion Bumper joint-favourite Le Vent D'Antan.
Doyle said after his race: 'He's improved a good notch from Leopardstown. We were afraid there would be no gallop with just three runners so we decided the best thing was to go on. Finny said it felt like he was doing a hack canter, which is a good sign.
'He may run again this season but whether that is at Cheltenham or not, I don't know. We'll have to have a think about it. I don't think Cheltenham is the best place to go with a four-year-old, although this horse is a bit more robust than Le Vent D'Antan.'
A pre-Cheltenham race night takes place in Jack's Tavern, Camolin, on Sunday, February 28, at 8.30 p.m. There will be free admission and finger food served with a raffle for Irish Grand National tickets and tickets for the Amber Springs Hotel injured jockeys' event and lots more.
Proceeds from this event will also go to the injured jockeys' fund.
All support will be greatly appreciated. For further information please contact Bernadette Behan on 086-9076775.
Racing takes place at the following Irish racetracks over the coming week: Thurles, Thursday, February 25 (first race 2.05 p.m.); Dundalk, Friday, February 26 (first race 6 p.m.); Navan, Saturday, February 27 (first race 1.55 p.m.), and Leopardstown, Sunday, February 28 (first race 2.30 p.m.).