Sunday 4 December 2016

Gordon Elliott takes over the training of Empire Of Dirt from retired Colm Murphy

Johnny Ward

Published 27/09/2016 | 16:30

Empire Of Dirt ridden by Bryan Cooper jumps the fence on his way to winning the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate during St Patrick's Thursday of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival
Empire Of Dirt ridden by Bryan Cooper jumps the fence on his way to winning the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate during St Patrick's Thursday of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival

EMPIRE OF DIRT, Colm Murphy's last Cheltenham winner as a trainer, is now in the care of Gordon Elliott.

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The son of Westerner won huge prize-money for Michael O'Leary in his last couple of starts, snaring a €100,000 handicap chase at Leopardstown in January, before scoring at the festival.

His victory in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate had Murphy, who trained Brave Inca, back in the headlines.

And the Gorey handler's decision to quit training, announced last week, will see some useful horses switch elsewhere. Colin Tizzard has acquired those horses owned by Alan Potts, while the JP McManus-owned Marlbrook will also move home.

Gigginstown's Eddie O'Leary told the Irish Independent: "Hopefully he will turn into a horse for one of the Nationals. He has moved to Gordon because Colm retired."

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