Wednesday 21 February 2018

Package leaves Murphy full of Grand ambition on Warwick comeback

Timmy Murphy makes his comeback from injury at Warwick today hoping The Package will take another important step towards this year's Grand National.

The Kildare-born rider has been out of action since breaking his back in a fall the day before the Hennessy in November.

The road back to fitness has been arduous, but Murphy is hoping it will prove worthwhile. The 38-year-old has the leg-up on Thunder Sheik in this afternoon's opener at Warwick, but it's the run of The Package in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle which has him salivating.

The David Johnson-owned gelding failed to complete when he ran in the Aintree spectacular three seasons back and Murphy feels the son of Kayf Tara has matured.

"He was a bit hit and miss with his jumping when he ran in it in 2010 but was still novicey then," recalled Murphy. "He's older and wiser now and the only question would be whether or not he stays. Everything suggests he will."

Elsewhere, Jadanli will attempt to go two places better than last year in the Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran later this month.

Paul Gilligan's inmate finished third behind On His Own in the much-coveted three-mile handicap in 2012 and is to return to the Kilkenny circuit for another go.

Jadanli was pulled up in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow last Saturday, having travelled promisingly for much of the race.

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has created two new Listed races in 2013, although the Loughbrown Stakes at the Curragh will no longer feature in the programme.

The seven-furlong race, a trial for the Guineas, has been deleted from the fixture list in favour of the Patton Stakes, a Listed event for three-year-olds over that distance at Dundalk on April 5.

The name of the Loughbrown Stakes will now transfer to a two-mile race for three-year-olds and upward at the Curragh on September 29. There are also a number of changes of dates for some existing Listed races, with the Martin Moloney Stakes at Limerick moved from June 21 to May 5.

The race will now be for four-year-olds and up over 12 and a half furlongs. Additionally, two Dundalk races have been moved to earlier in the calendar – the Carlingford Stakes from November 15 to October 18 and the Cooley Stakes from November 8 to November 1.

Irish Independent

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