Murphy's law: fresh ground and decent money make Fakenham the place to be
Let's hope Olly Murphy doesn't get stuck in traffic on his way to Fakenham on Monday as he provides more than a quarter of the runners on the card.
He has 11 horses in action at a six-race meeting that attracted only 41 declarations in total, having made no fewer than 30 original entries.
Murphy, who is based in Stratford-upon-Avon, has had more winners at Fakenham than on any other track since taking out a licence and cannot understand why the course does not get more support.
The trainer said on Sunday: "There's good prize-money, they do a very good job with the ground – there appears to be a fresh strip of ground at every meeting – and they are second to none in how they look after owners.
"I don't mind travelling, I worked for Gordon Elliott for long enough – I don't believe that horses travelling distances stops them winning.
"It is a long way away for a lot of people, especially the big trainers down in the West Country. It's three and a half hours for me but I like to support the place and it has been lucky for me."
Rio's ready to roll
Murphy says his best hope of adding to his eight Fakenham victories lies with course winner Rio Quinto, who will be ridden by Richard Johnson in the £10,000 2m7½f novice hurdle.
"Rio Quinto is definitely my best chance by a million miles," he said. "He'll handle the ground, he'll stay the trip. If he's a nice horse he'll want to be beating what's in front of him tomorrow, and I think he is a nice horse. Fingers crossed he should take all the beating with no mishaps.
"I've half got it in the back of my mind that he could be a Cheltenham horse, but I don't think he would be good enough to contest a novice race, so if he was to go there it would probably be for the conditional jockeys' race so he needs another couple of runs."
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