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Former handler of Tolworth hero labels meteoric rise as 'mad'

Former trainer of Finian's Oscar, Denis Murphy believes the gelding could become Gold Cup contender in time
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The point-to-point trainer who saddled Finian's Oscar to victory at Portrush in October believes he could become yet another Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup horse for Colin Tizzard.

Denis Murphy has had horses such as 2003 Galway Plate hero Nearly A Moose and 2009 National Hunt Chase winner Tricky Trickster at the beginning of their point-to-point careers, and on Sunday recalled the moment he realised Tolworth Hurdle winner Finian’s Oscar was above average.

"He did a piece of work up the Old Vic gallop on the Curragh about a month before he won his point-to-point and he looked like he was something special then," he said.

"After he won his point-to-point in October we brought him to the sales and the Tizzards bought him. The rest is history; his progress has been mad."

Murphy added of the £250,000 purchase, who carried the silks of Ann and Alan Potts to success in the Grade 1 at Sandown on Saturday: "I think he's more of a Supreme horse, but he has a massive cruising speed and therefore they could get away with running him in the Neptune.

"Down the line I think he could be a Gold Cup horse."

The Wexford handler, who has almost 60 young horses in training, went on to reveal the celebrations that followed the seven-length success of Finian’s Oscar on Saturday.

He said: "It was just mega seeing how well he got the job done and we went for one too many pints last night to celebrate!

"There’s a good few of us in the yard and we all ended up going for a few drinks, that’s what it is all about. We are delighted."

Believe it or not, I think he could be a Gold Cup horse and that is a fact
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