Cheltenham Festival Day 1
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 1
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 2
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 3
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 4

Murphy delivers positive report about Festival team

Olly Murphy has reported his string to be in good form ahead of Cheltenham.
Olly Murphy has reported his string to be in good form ahead of Cheltenham.

Olly Murphy has reported his string to be in good order ahead of next month’s Cheltenham Festival, as he prepares to send his strongest squad yet to the four-day meeting.

Murphy landed the first Grade 1 of his fledgling training career when Itchy Feet cruised clear of Midnight Shadow to take the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown earlier this month, and it is the six-year-old who leads the Stratford-based handler’s quest for a maiden Cheltenham Festival victory. 

“He couldn’t have been any more impressive at Sandown and he’s in good form. He’s back cantering away and we’re very much looking forward to running him in the Marsh.” Said the trainer regarding the son of Cima De Triomphe.

That Sandown victory came on the back off a facile 26-length win in a three-runner Leicester event, which was little more than a schooling in public exercise for last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle third.

To then land a Grade 1 over fences on just a second start over the larger obstacles is no mean feat, particularly when you consider that he pecked on landing at the second last at Sandown, and Murphy thinks the experience of competing in the Scilly Isles will stand him in good stead. 

He said: “He’s still a little bit novicey and that experience will have done him the world of good. He looks a horse who appears to be on an upward curve and hopefully he’ll just keep improving through Cheltenham, where he ran well last year, and into next year.”

The Warren Chase handler has a strong hand in the novice chasing division, and could well get off to a flying start on the Tuesday with Brewin’upastorm, who’s not without a chance in the Arkle Trophy

Murphy said: “He’s in great form and I’m looking forward to running him in a strongly run two miles race which I think now is where he’ll be at his very best. He’s in a very good place and is very good fresh so it doesn’t bother me going there without a prep run.”

The seven-year-old, who finished fourth over hurdles in the Ballymore at the Festival 12 months ago, hasn’t been seen since making it two from two over fences at Taunton in November, and despite claiming some useful scalps in those outing, many have suggested that he doesn’t have the experience to play a part in the premier two-mile novice test at the Festival. 

However, it’s not something that’s phasing Murphy. He said: “I’ve no real concerns about a lack of experience, he’s a winner of a point-to-point and he got a very good taste of things the first time he ran over fences at Carlisle. They went very hard and he had to figure things out quickly and that should stand him in good stead.” 

Murphy has amassed 186 winners under Rules since joining the training ranks in 2017, but one thing that is yet to appear on the handler’s CV is a Festival victory. Along with the aforementioned duo, the man who spent a period of time working as Gordon Elliott’s assistant in Ireland has assembled a select squad to go into battle with at Cheltenham.  

Skandiburg leads a small but select team in the handicaps and it would be nice to think we could come away with something.” Said Murphy of his Festival chances away from the Grade 1 contests. 

Skandiburg, could be joined at the Festival by The Butcher Said, Strong Glance and The Wolf, who are the other Warren Chase inmates holding Cheltenham handicap entries. 

However, one horse who looks increasingly likely to skip the Festival is Thomas Darby, with last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle second instead targeting a Grade 1 mission at Aintree in April, and a tilt at the Aintree Hurdle over two and a half miles. 

He said: “I haven’t really bought into all the Champion Hurdle chat to be honest; he needs two and a half miles. If it came up very very soft, we might consider it, so we’ll leave him in for now, but I would say it’s very unlikely.

“I just think two and a half miles brought out plenty of improvement at Ascot, Richard (Johnson) said he was staying right on up to the line and hopefully he’ll find further improvement as he’s still very much unexposed. So it’s fingers crossed!”

Cheltenham Festival Tips
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code SPTS365 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.
Bet £10 Get £20 + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) mobile only. £30 in FREE Bets (FB) as £20 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7 day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code R30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10/€10, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 get £30 in Free Bets
#AD New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable, and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. T&Cs apply.
Double the odds, any sport, any bet, any odds!
#AD 18+ Only valid for new registrations to Grosvenor Existing members do not qualify, Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token, Offer applies to Sport bets only. Max stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total). Customers have 60 days after registration to use the Odds Boost token. T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD 18+ Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply.  
Bet £10 Get £40 in Bonuses
#AD New 18+ UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Bet £10 Get £10 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets
#AD Offer includes a free £1 Race Index spread bet to try out our exciting 50-25-10 race markets. Place a £10 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 2 x £10 free fixed odds bets + 2 x £5 free Winning Favourites spread bets. Bet with live streaming on all racing and greyhounds! Ts&Cs Apply. 18+
£35 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only |
50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus
#AD 18+; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms.
Latest racing results
1stDuhallow Tommy
3rdPush The Button
1stWestern Diego
2ndSuttons Hill
3rdWill Do
1stRussian Virtue
2ndBridge Road
3rdEdgar Allan Poe
View All Today's Results