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Ferdy Murphy chooses to relocate training operation to France


Trainer Ferdy Murphy. Photo: Pete Norton, Getty Images

Trainer Ferdy Murphy. Photo: Pete Norton, Getty Images

Trainer Ferdy Murphy. Photo: Pete Norton, Getty Images

Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer Ferdy Murphy is to relocate to France from his North Yorkshire stables.

Wexford-born Murphy, 64, will sell Wynbury Stables, in West Witton, with the intention of moving to a farm in Upper Normandy across the Channel.

He will continue his breeding business in France, as well as buying and selling young stock.

Murphy said he also intends to use his new site as a training base in the future.

He said in a statement: "It will be an end of an era.

"I've had many grand times at Wynbury, but I've always wanted to train in France.

"If I don't do it now, it is probably something I will regret later on in life.

"The opportunity is too good to turn down."

Murphy took out a training licence in 1990 and has enjoyed many big-race victories, including 10 Cheltenham Festival successes since moving to Wynbury in 1996.

He first came to prominence as a private trainer for Geoff Hubbard, sending out Sibton Abbey to win the 1992 Hennessy at Newbury under a young Adrian Maguire.

His best horse was the late French Holly, winner of the 1998 Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham and third to Istabraq in the following year's Champion Hurdle.

Always considered a budding superstar when sent over fences, French Holly won his chasing debut at Wetherby in October 1999 but the dream ended when he died in a schooling accident in November of that year.

Truckers Tavern was another headline horse for the Murphy yard, finishing second only to Best Mate in the 2003 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Paddy's Return won the 1996 Triumph Hurdle for Murphy, who enjoyed other Grade One wins with Kalahari King, Ballinclay King, Another Promise and Carlys Quest.

Murphy was always a byword for punters in major handicaps and his Paris Pike won the Scottish National as a novice in 2000, with Joes Edge adding another triumph in that race in 2005.

A third Scottish National came in 2007 courtesy of Hot Weld, who also won the-then Betfred Gold Cup (Whitbread Gold Cup) at Sandown just a few weeks later - a race Murphy claimed twice, with Poker De Sivola obliging in 2011.

Murphy also struck in the 2004 Irish Grand National with Granit D'Estruval, with L'Antartique's Paddy Power Gold Cup victory at Cheltenham in 2007 another significant achievement.

Murphy said: "My eldest daughter, Caroline, lives in Normandy with my son-in-law Guy Petit, who is a top bloodstock agent, so it also makes sense from a family point of view.

"I'll be looking to have around 20 horses in France to begin with, which also gives me time to develop my new facilities and purchase other interests.

"All my staff and owners have been very supportive, and it's grand that some want to send their horses to Normandy."

PA Media