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Article 30th December 2022 Cheltenham

By Graham Clark

Olly Murphy hopes stable stalwart Brewin’upastorm can give him the perfect start to 2023 at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day (Sunday 1st January 2023) by completing ‘unfinished business’ in the Relkeel Hurdle.

Twelve months after tipping up at the last in the Grade Two prize, when holding every chance, the nine year old son of Milan will bid to atone that defeat when forming part of a strong team Murphy will send to the Home of Jump Racing on Sunday. 

After getting no further than the first on his return at Aintree in November the Barbara Hester-owned gelding found only Goshen too strong in a Grade Two at Ascot last time out. 

Despite having failed to complete on three of his four appearances at Cheltenham the Wilmcote handler believes Brewin’upastorm, who claimed victory at the same level in last year’s National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell, is due a change of luck. 

He said: “It is an extremely competitive renewal of the race especially after the abandonment of the International Hurdle at the track earlier this month. 

“On his day he is very good. I felt he needed the run badly at Ascot and I’m looking forward to running him in this. 

“If he turns up with his A game I think he has an each-way chance, but he is in good form.

“I feel we have a bit of unfinished business here. He has been to Cheltenham four times and finished rider-less on three of them including when falling at the last in this race 12 months ago. 

“I felt on two of those occasions he would have won, while what would have happened in the Arkle I’m not sure. 

“He deserves a race like this but this is probably the most competitive race, bar his Grade Ones at Aintree, that he has run in for a while. If he gets everything go right, he should go well.”

Murphy could already have secured Grade Two glory before Brewin’upastorm takes to the track with Thunder Rock, who will bid to maintain his unbeaten record over fences in the Paddy Power Novices’ Chase, registered as the Dipper Novices' Chase. 

He said: “Thunder Rock is a lovely horse and he has taken very well to fences. He was a good hurdler last season but we thought he would improve for a fence which he has done in his two starts this season. 

“This trip will suit him perfectly and he appears to be on an upward curve but we will know where we stand after this. He is a horse that we think plenty of and he already has a mark of 150. 

“I thought he would improve going chasing but you never know how much they will improve but the handicapper has him a stone better over fences. 

“If he wins I would think he would then head to Sandown Park for the Scilly Isles. If not, we will make alternative arrangements. 

“We had him in the Wayward Lad at Kempton but we all thought in the end that two miles around there might just be on the sharp side for him. Hopefully we have made the right decision.” 

Grade Two winner Thomas Darby will take a drop down in class when attempting to carry top-weight to victory in the Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle 2m 7f 213y). 

Murphy said: “It is his first run in a handicap hurdle since the Coral Cup last year. Life is tough for him now in those graded races so we are thinking outside the box a little here.

“He is the class horse in the race and if he can carry the big weight I think he has an each-way chance. I had a long discussion with his owners and we thought this is the right thing to do. 

“He ran very well at Wetherby and I was delighted with him there. Paisley Park and Champ were very good at Newbury and he ran with credit there. 

“He knows how to win at a good level and it is really interesting to see how he will get on back in a handicap.”

The Wolf failed to feature on his debut over the Grand National fences in the Boylesports Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree in December. However Murphy hopes the application of cheek pieces can help him go one better than last year in the AJS Handicap Chase (3m 2f 70y). 

He said: “Standing starts never help him and he was slowly away in the Becher as a result. He just found it hard to get in a rhythm but he ran okay.

“He does seem to save his best for Cheltenham and these staying handicaps. We are fitting some cheek pieces on him and the more rain that falls the better but he always seems to give himself a lot to do.

“He is not an easy ride for Adrian (Heskin) as he races behind the bridle for a long way and on better ground they can just get away from him but on softer ground they come back to him. 

“He is another horse that is capable of winning a nice handicap if everything falls right for him.”

Murphy will also be represented in the three and a quarter mile test by Itchy Feet, who will bid to claim his first victory since securing the avid Aston Villa his first Grade One success in the 2020 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown Park.

He said: “He ran a lot better than it looks at Haydock Park. If he didn’t walk through the last he would have finished second to Hitman.

“It all depends if he can get into a rhythm in a competitive handicap as I’ve always thought he is a horse best suited to smaller fields. He is rated 145 and he is the class horse in the race.

“He is eight pounds lower than when finishing second to Allmankind in the Old Roan at Aintree 18 months ago and he is handicapped to run well. If everything goes right he is more than capable.

“He showed me enough first time out after his wind operation that he has still got ability. He is a hard horse to place off his current mark but having been placed in the Old Roan off 153 and 154 he is back down to a good mark.”



Current Going: GOOD

12:10pm Ballymore Maiden Hurdle 2m 4f 56y (14 runners)

1 Firestep (IRE) ts 6 11 7 Nicky Henderson Charles Dingwall & The Infamous Five Nico de Boinville

2 Future Investment 6 11 7 Alan King Mrs Liz Prowting Tom Cannon

3 G A Henty 5 11 7 Tom George Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes Jonathan Burke

4 Gentle Slopes 5 11 7 Milton Harris Mr Anwar Badri Sean Bowen

5 Glorious Oscar (IRE) ts 5 11 7 Ben Pauling Mr & Mrs J Tuttiett Kevin Brogan

6 Iliko d'Olivate (FR) 4 11 7 Paul Nicholls Chris Giles Harry Cobden

7 Max's Champ (FR) 6 11 7 Samuel Drinkwater Drinkwater Family & Cheltenham Boys Robert Dunne

8 Militaire 5 11 7 Warren Greatrex Jim and Claire Limited James Bowen

9 Riskintheground (IRE) 5 11 7 Dan Skelton 3 Sons Harry Skelton

10 Robinsville 5 11 7 Joe Tizzard John and Heather Snook Brendan Powell

11 Rock My Way (IRE) 4 11 7 Syd Hosie Syd Hosie

12 Rock On Cowboy (IRE) 5 11 7 Ben Pauling The Megsons Luca Morgan

13 School Days Over (IRE) 5 11 7 Fergal O'Brien Dark Horse Racing Ltd Paddy Brennan

14 Weveallbeencaught (IRE) 5 11 7 Nigel Twiston-Davies Jimmy & Susie Wenman Edward & Jane James Sam Twiston-Davies


12:45 pm 20024 Ais Handicap Chase 3m 2f 70y (13 runners)

1 Farinet (FR) 7 12 0 Venetia Williams M Hammond, E Coombs & T Henriques Charlie Deutsch

2 Itchy Feet (FR) p 8 12 0 Olly Murphy The Sherington Partnership Sean Bowen

3 The Wolf (FR) ts, p 8 11 7 Olly Murphy McNeill Family & Stone Family A. P. Heskin

4 Found On (IRE) 7 11 7 Martin Keighley Mr Oliver Ryan David Bass

5 Easysland (FR) p 8 11 6 Jonjo O'Neill Mr John P. McManus Richie McLernon

6 Spiritofthegames (IRE) bl 10 11 6 Dan Skelton Mr N. W. Lake Harry Skelton

7 Rapper p 8 11 6 Henry Daly The Home Farm Partnership Richard Patrick

8 Secret Reprieve (IRE) 8 11 3 Evan Williams Mr & Mrs William Rucker Adam Wedge

9 Switch Hitter (IRE) p 7 11 2 Paul Nicholls Hills of Ledbury Ltd Harry Cobden

10 Java Point (IRE) ts 7 11 2 Tom George Fanning, Griffith, Haddock Jonathan Burke

11 Poppa Poutine (IRE) ts 6 11 1 Nigel Twiston-Davies Options O Syndicate Sam Twiston-Davies

12 Cap du Nord (FR) 9 10 11 Christian Williams The Can't Say No Partnership Jack Tudor

13 Minella Bobo (IRE) 9 10 3 Rebecca Curtis Moran, Outhart, McDermott, Hyde & Hill Brendan Powell


1:20pm Paddy Power Novices' Chase (Registered As The Dipper Novices' Chase) (Grade 2) 2m 4f 127y (6 runners)

1 Beauport (IRE) 6 11 7 Nigel Twiston-Davies Bryan & Philippa Burrough Jordan Nailor

2 The Real Whacker (IRE) 6 11 5 Patrick Neville Neville, Mann, Duffus and Dennis Sam Twiston-Davies

3 Harper's Brook (IRE) 6 11 2 Ben Pauling The Megsons Luca Morgan

4 Monmiral (FR) 5 11 2 Paul Nicholls Sir A Ferguson G Mason J Hales & L Hales Harry Cobden

5 Mortlach ts 7 11 2 Fergal O'Brien Richard D A Hames and Doug Pocock Paddy Brennan

6 Thunder Rock (IRE) 6 11 2 Olly Murphy McNeill Family & Mr Ian Dale A. P. Heskin


1:55pm Paddy Power New Year's Day Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) 2m 4f 127y (17 runners)

1 Brave Seasca (FR) 7 12 0 Venetia Williams Brooks & Taylor Families Charlie Deutsch

2 Happygolucky (IRE) 8 11 11 Kim Bailey Lady Dulverton David Bass

3 Stolen Silver (FR) ts 7 11 9 Sam Thomas Walters Plant Hire & Potter Group Sam Twiston-Davies

4 Simply The Betts (IRE) 9 11 8 Paul Nicholls Mr David Maxwell

5 War Lord (GER) 7 11 7 Joe Tizzard The Wychwood Partnership Brendan Powell

6 Lostintranslation (IRE) ts, p 10 11 6 Joe Tizzard Taylor & O'Dwyer Tom Cannon

7 Sebastopol (IRE) v,ts 8 11 6 Tom Lacey C & C Boultbee Brooks Stan Sheppard

8 Midnight River 7 11 4 Dan Skelton Mr Frank McAleavy Harry Skelton

9 Fantastic Lady (FR) 7 11 1 Nicky Henderson Mr E. R. Hanbury Nico de Boinville

10 Nassalam (FR) p 5 11 1 Gary Moore John and Yvonne Stone Jamie Moore

11 Demachine (IRE) ts 8 10 13 Kerry Lee West Coast Haulage Limited Jonathan Burke

12 Il Ridoto (FR) ts 5 10 12 Paul Nicholls Giles, Hogarth, Mason & McGoff Harry Cobden

13 Shakem Up'arry (IRE) ts 8 10 12 Ben Pauling Mr Harry Redknapp Luca Morgan (3)

14 Eden du Houx (FR) ts, p 8 10 6 David Pipe Prof. Caroline Tisdall Tom Scudamore

15 Jacamar (GER) v 7 10 5 Milton Harris Mark & Maria Adams Paddy Brennan

16 Coconut Splash (IRE) 7 10 5 Evan Williams Mr & Mrs William Rucker Adam Wedge

17 Deyrann de Carjac (FR) p 9 10 1 Alan King Mr J. Law Alexander Thorne (5)


2:30pm Relkeel Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 4f 56y (9 runners)

1 Botox Has (FR) 6 11 6 Gary Moore John and Yvonne Stone Jamie Moore

2 Knappers Hill (IRE) 6 11 6 Paul Nicholls Mr P K Barber and Mr P J Vogt Harry Cobden

3 First Street h 5 11 4 Nicky Henderson Lady Bamford & Alice Bamford James Bowen

4 I Like To Move It 5 11 4 Nigel Twiston-Davies Anne-Marie & Jamie Shepperd Sam Twiston-Davies

5 Langer Dan (IRE) 6 11 4 Dan Skelton Mr Colm Donlon Harry Skelton

6 Tritonic 5 11 4 Alan King McNeill Family & Mr Ian Dale A. P. Heskin

7 Brewin'upastorm (IRE) ts 9 11 0 Olly Murphy Mrs Barbara Hester Aidan Coleman

8 Dashel Drasher 9 11 0 Jeremy Scott Mrs B Tully and Mr R Lock Rex Dingle

9 Marie's Rock (IRE) ts 7 10 13 Nicky Henderson Middleham Park Racing XLII Nico de Boinville


3:05pm Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle 2m 7f 213y (11 runners)

1 Thomas Darby (IRE) ts 9 12 0 Olly Murphy Mrs Diana L. Whateley Sean Bowen

2 Call Me Lord (FR) 9 11 6 Nicky Henderson Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede James Bowen

3 Dolphin Square (IRE) p 8 11 5 Philip Hobbs Mr David Maxwell Mr David Maxwell (3)

4 Brinkley (FR) v 7 10 12 David Pipe Brocade Racing Tom Scudamore

5 Wilde About Oscar (IRE) 7 10 12 Dan Skelton Mike and Eileen Newbould Harry Skelton

6 Peking Rose ts 7 10 8 Fergal O'Brien Coln Valley Partnership Paddy Brennan

7 Abuffalosoldier (IRE) 5 10 3 Warren Greatrex Mahler & The Wailers Brendan Powell

8 Jet of Magic (IRE) p 6 10 2 Paul Nicholls Ratkatcha Racing Harry Cobden

9 Hector Javilex (FR) ts 5 10 1 Charlie Longsdon Mr David Mason Lilly Pinchin (3)

10 Bridge North (IRE) 6 10 1 Henry Daly Exors of the late Mr Trevor Hemmings Richard Patrick

11 Del La Mar Rocket (IRE) ts 6 9 11 Ben Pauling Les de la Haye & Martin Mundy Bradley Roberts (7)


3:40PM JCB "Junior" National Hunt Flat Race (A Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race) (Listed Race) 1m 5f 209y (20 runners)

1 Cloud Dancer (IRE) 3 11 0 Gary Moore The Keysoe Partnership Jamie Moore

2 Crystal Mer 3 11 0 Paul Webber Mr Martin Hughes Tom Scudamore

3 Dancing In Brazil 3 11 0 Alan King James & Jean Potter Ltd Tom Cannon

4 Dino Bellagio 3 11 0 Donald McCain Nick Brown Racing Peter Kavanagh

5 Dotties Star 3 11 0 Pat Phelan Ermyn Lodge Stud Niall Houlihan

6 Fiercely Proud (IRE) 3 11 0 Ben Pauling Mr T. P. Radford Luca Morgan

7 Fravanco 3 11 0 Michael Madgwick Whytehall Partnership Marc Goldstein

8 Gallant Approach 3 11 0 Hughie Morrison Pangfield Racing V Jonathan Burke

9 Globe Player 3 11 0 Stuart Edmunds Mr M. Kehoe Adam Wedge

10 Meatloaf (FR) 3 11 0 Paul Nicholls The Stewart Family,SirA.Ferguson&G.Mason Harry Cobden

11 Mr Mackay (IRE) 3 11 0 Nigel Twiston-Davies Mr N. A. Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies

12 Polemon ts 3 11 0 Archie Watson Hambleton Racing Ltd XXXIII & Partner Miss Brodie Hampson

13 Scratch Card (IRE) 3 11 0 Rebecca Curtis Mrs I. A. Balding Sean Bowen

14 Shinji (IRE) 3 11 0 Martin Keighley Mrs Louise Jones Aidan Coleman

15 Watching Over You ts 3 11 0 Milton Harris Watching Over You Partnership

16 Feryl Beryl p 3 10 7 Deborah Cole Knowle Racing Stables Limited Chris Ward

17 Flying Fortune (IRE) 3 10 7 Peter Bowen Fortune N'Fame fillies James Bowen

18 Jackeline 3 10 7 Seamus Mullins Mrs R. Jowett Daniel Sansom

19 Miss Applejack 3 10 7 Charlie Longsdon The Applejacks

20 Peribonka River (FR) h 3 10 7 Iain Jardine Mr Semore Kurdi Conor O'Farrell


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