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'We can reboot things' - assistant takes over from Love at Charlestown Stud

Ciaran Murphy (centre): will take over the licence from Dot Love (left) in the new year
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There will be a new name over the gate at Charlestown Stud as Ciaran Murphy, long-standing assistant and the face of Dot Love's Irish Grand National-winning operation in Mullingar, County Westmeath, will take over the licence in the new year.

Love shot to prominence in 2013 when Liberty Counsel was a shock 50-1 winner of the Irish Grand National, after which the Denmark native was keen to heap praise on Murphy, who has been an integral part of the operation for more than 20 years.

Murphy, a former amateur rider who retired with more than 40 winners on the track and in point-to-points, outlined his ambition to attract a better calibre of horse to the yard in the coming years.

Liberty Counsel: won the 2013 Irish Grand National for Love

He said: “Not much will change in the yard. We are a team outfit and that's the way things are going to remain. Dot will remain very much a part of the operation.

"Hopefully, we can just reboot things and bring a few fresh ideas to the place, which might attract some more nice horses. We might try and get a few new owners. We'd like to build up a string of Flat and National Hunt horses and we'll see how it goes.”

There was a time when Love and Murphy had a string of 80 breakers, the majority of which belonged to Gigginstown House Stud. However, when the powerful owners drew stumps on the buying of three-year-olds, the team at Charlestown needed to go back to the drawing board.

The jumps season may only be in its infancy but Love has already recorded her greatest tally of winners with eight on the board, while the yard also sent out two winners on the level in 2020 as well. 

Speaking about the changing landscape over the last few seasons, Murphy said: “We are still breaking and pre-training but, obviously, when Gigginstown House Stud and the [Paul and Clare] Rooneys stopped investing in young stock, that blew a hole in our business. That was our bread and butter.

“That sped up the process of us reinventing ourselves. We started buying a few more horses ourselves and have had a good few more in training of late, and this has been our best-ever season. 

“We have to move forward with things and Dot will be exiting the stage off the back of her best-ever season, which will be great. Hopefully, we can get her a winner over the Christmas.” 

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We have to move forward with things and Dot will be exiting the stage off the back of her best-ever season, which will be great
E.W. Terms