Wednesday 28 September 2016

Colm Murphy announces shock retirement news

Published 23/09/2016 | 10:51

Colm Murphy
Colm Murphy

Multiple Grade One-winning handler Colm Murphy has made the shock announcement that he is to retire from the training ranks.

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The County Wexford-based handler has enjoyed a stellar career since taking out his licence in the year 2000, with the hugely popular Brave Inca winning 10 Grade One prizes including the 2004 Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the 2006 Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Big Zeb claimed victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2010, while unbeaten mare Feathard Lady and high-class chaser Quito De La Roque are among the other big names to pass through his hands.

Murphy told Press Association Sport: "It's something I've been thinking about for the last while and after a few difficult years, my accountancy background told me we just can't make it pay any more.

"It's been a very difficult decision and not one we've made lightly, but in the end, it was a financial decision that was made for us."

Brave Inca was Murphy's horse of a lifetime, also winning the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown twice as part of his tremendous top-level haul.

Big Zeb won six times at the highest level overall, with his victory in the 2011 Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown the trainer's final Grade One success.

Feathard Lady won each of her seven starts including a brilliant display in the 2005 Christmas Hurdle before being retired due to injury.

Quito De La Roque was another multiple Grade One winner, with honourable mentions going to high-class mare Voler La Vedette and Empire Of Dirt, with the latter providing Murphy with what proved to his final Festival winner in last season's Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate.

Murphy's leading patrons in recent years include Gigginstown House Stud and JP McManus, while only recently he received more horses from owners Alan and Ann Potts after they decided to move the horses they had in training with Henry de Bromhead.

"We've been very fortunate to have some fantastic horses over the years and I want to thank all the owners and staff that have given us so much support," said the trainer.

"Winning the Champion Hurdle and the Champion Chase were great days and I suppose last year's Cheltenham winner was so sweet as it had been tough going for so long."

Asked what the future holds, Murphy added: "I'm not sure what I'm going to do, to be honest. I'll take a bit of time and see what opportunities arise.

"It's not been an easy decision, but I had to have a chat with myself and you have to be realistic.

"It was a business decision at the end of the day."

Murphy revealed Black Zambezi could be his final runner at Gowran Park on Saturday week.

Press Association

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