Murphy in the winners' enclosure at Fairyhouse
Killenagh-based trainer Colm Murphy was back in the winners' enclosure after Marlbrook (7/2) and Mark Walsh took the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders' Fund Rated Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
Murphy, the mastermind behind unforgettable wins in the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle and Queen Mother Champion Chase with Brave Inca and Big Zeb respectively, was thrilled to see his J.P. McManus-owned eight-year-old deliver on recent promise.
'He had won a point-to-point under J.T. McNamara for Enda Bolger and followed that up with a maiden hurdle win under Mark (Walsh). J.T. always liked him and he has had a catalogue of injuries, hence the hold ups.
'He was unlucky earlier in the season when he slipped at the back fence at Navan, and ran a blinder when beaten by Gordon's (Elliott) Noble Endeavor at Down Royal on Stephen's Day. On the back of those performances he was entitled to do what he did at the weekend.
'We're not sure where we'll take him now as he has had two tough runs in a short period of time, two runs like that on heavy ground can take their toll. We'll look into the novices and winners of one races somewhere and see what's available.'
Meanwhile, Murphy is gearing Empire of Dirt towards the Coral.ie Leopardstown Handicap Steeplechase (Grade A) at Leopardstown on Sunday.
Also at Fairyhouse, conditional rider Jonathan Moore, who hails from Adamstown, completed trainer Gordon Elliott's treble when taking the bumper on 4/9 favourite Sutton Place.
Gowran Park Racecourse will donate €5 from all full-priced admissions at their Goffs Thyestes Chase day to Irish Injured Jockeys.
The Thyestes Chase has been long-established as one of the highlights of the Irish National Hunt racing calendar and a key guide to the English and Irish Grand Nationals, with stars such as Hedgehunter and Numbersixvalverde completing the big race double.
In more recent times, the Goffs Thyestes Chase has become a trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with the last two Goffs Thyestes winners, On His Own and Djakadam, finishing runner-up in the big race. First Lieutenant currently heads the entries, with other high-profile horses such as Boston Bob and Goonyella in the mix for what should be a cracking renewal.
Racing takes place at the following Irish racetracks over the coming week: Thurles, Thursday, January 14 (first race 12.35 p.m.); Dundalk, Friday, January 15 (first race 6 p.m.); Naas, Saturday, January 16 (first race 12.45 p.m.), and Leopardstown, Sunday, January 17 (first race 1 p.m.).