Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Press Release 17th March 2023 Cheltenham


Friday 17th March

Irish-trained runners continued their dominance of the Grade Two Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase courtesy of the Colm Murphy-trained Impervious.

Colm Murphy, the winning trainer of Impervious (15-8), said: “It’s great and she’s done fantastically well. You do it for winning feelings like this. We’ve always hoped she would be a nice one. I would say she would get further if we wanted, we’ve got loads of options. I’m not sure about what we’ll do next, we’ll get her home and I’d imagine she’ll get a few entries and we’ll go from there. I had my lucky bit of shamrock on my coat and it’s done the trick!”

Tom O'Doherty, breeder of Impervious, told Racing TV: “I’m absolutely over the moon. I have the mare [Blodge] at home, she is the only mare I own. My sister bought Blodge at the Tattersalls sales in 2017. A lot of people won’t know, but Impervious’ grand-dam Bilboa was placed in the Champion Hurdle, so it came out somewhere! I’m absolutely delighted and I’m delighted for my sister, for Colm Murphy, I’m over the moon. She is one tough cookie. I would also like to thank Will Kinsey of Peel Bloodstock, who pinhooked [Impervious] as a foal for €4,000.

“I saw Blodge win a point-to-point in Ireland a long, long time ago and she came from a very good family. She came from a very good place, the Kenilworth House Stud in Clonmel and I love the pedigree. Bilboa was a feisty lady as well as she’s inherited all of it!

“It’s been wonderful [to watch her develop]. Little did I think when I sold my foal for €4,000 that JP McManus would end up buying her and would end up winning at Cheltenham.

“I saw two fences, I could not watch, my heart was in my mouth even though she is a fantastic jumper. I knew she wouldn’t let me down. Once she got into battle, I knew she’d out-battle the rest. She’s a terrier and the mare at home is a terrier as well – not the easiest to handle!”

Winning jockey Brian Hayes told Racing TV: “She winged the first, winged the second and got lit up – she was always landing running. Thankfully Daryl Jacob was keeping them busy in the front and I just about had a lid on her. It might have looked better than it felt, I thought just had a lid on her. Any slower and we would have been going forward even more. She’s very quick. She has pace, but she stays very well as well. Usually they have one or the other, she seems to have both. She’s a brilliant [jumper] – testament to that would be the way she’s been winging [her fences] all along, but today she had to go right into the bottom of it [at the last] and be really clever, and she picked up with her two front feet. Pure guts.

“She puts her head down, her ears back and she just wants it. Colm Murphy… if there’s a man to get them ready for Cheltenham, it’s him. He has been here, he’s done it. I was down there last week and I saw him doing a piece of work on her. He rides her, Jimmy O’Rourke schools her, and they were doing a piece of work on the circle last week and Colm did an extra lap on her and couldn’t pull her up. I was looking on from the hill thinking, ‘she is flying’. I was smiling.

“She’s a class act. I think I’ve won five on her now and had a winner at Cheltenham on her, so she means a lot to me now!

“She has scope and power and she commits to it. Colm has done the world of schooling with her. He has proper National Hunt birch fences at home and he has painted them all white. Everything was done to perfection.

“This is different gravy [to the winner at Cheltenham in November]. It’s the Festival and everyone wants to get a winner here. A lot of lads inside are disappointed with their week, I got one so it’s amazing.”

Willie Mullins, trainer of the runner-up Allegorie De Vassy (13-8 Favourite), said: “I thought she jumped fantastically seeing as she was having only her third run over fences. I thought Paul had it up to the last and he was just outstayed by a very good mare. She’ll probably go up in trip whereas you’d think we might come back in trip. She’ll probably go for the Ryanair Chase at Fairyhouse, where I think she’ll probably take all the beating.”

Venetia Williams, trainer of the third-placed Pink Legend (33-1), said: “I’m delighted and I think it was a much stronger race this year. It wasn’t the plan to make the running but she really seems to come alive here. She loved being out in front. She’d made the running on her last start at Exeter, but this is a whole different ball game. I’m really thrilled, she jumped really well and I felt turning for home that they were queuing up to go past her as the pace hadn’t been that strong. She was tenacious and she kept galloping all the way to the line. It’s not always her day but she’s never run a bad race here.”

4.50pm Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase (Grade 2) 2m 4½f

  1. Impervious 15/8
  2. Allegorie De Vassy 13/8F
  3. Pink Legend 33/1

9 ran

Distances: 2½, 5½

Time: 5m 18.67s

1st winner at The Festival for jockey Brian Hayes

5th winner at The Festival for trainer Colm Murphy

72nd winner at The Festival for owner JP McManus


Cookie Policy

We use “cookies” to help enhance your experience and improve the functionality of our website. You can find out more in our cookie policy. We also serve cookies, some with chocolate chips, on our racecourses.