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Aintree’s Liverpool Hurdle: Sturdy Chief has his day with victory for Sean Bowen and Olly Murphy | Racing Information

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Sturdy Chief completed powerfully to land the Grade One Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree for Sean Bowen and Olly Murphy.

Olly Murphy’s seven-year-old had hit the body on his first try at three miles in January’s Cleeve Hurdle and his handler’s choice to skip the Stayers’ Hurdle on the Cheltenham Competition was rewarded in Liverpool as he produced an excellent show.

In direction of the rear within the early levels as Aintree common Flooring Porter was disputing the lead with the evergreen Dashel Drasher and King George hero Hewick, Bowen made a notable transfer aboard Sturdy Chief heading down the again facet on the second circuit, quickly becoming a member of these in direction of the top of proceedings.

Buddy One was one other to take shut order rounding the bend for dwelling, with Jack Gilligan setting sail aboard the Irish raider. However Bowen was holding on to loads of horse and after powering his option to the entrance leaping the final, he galloped on to attain by four-and-a-quarter lengths at odds of 8-1.

Buddy One bravely stored on for second, with Henry de Bromhead’s Hiddenvalley Lake third, however they have been by no means a match for Sturdy Chief who gave his coach only a second Grade One victory after Itchy Ft again in February 2020.

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Murphy mentioned: “That meant an terrible lot to me, I am happy.

“He most likely ought to have received the Cleeve Hurdle as he acquired beneath his hurdles for a mile and a half that day and I may have gone again for the Stayers’, however I am adamant he would not like Cheltenham – he would not come up and down these hills nicely sufficient.

“We have been ballsy sufficient to depart Cheltenham alone. I needed to go there as a lot as anybody as I’ve by no means had a winner on the Competition, however we saved him for immediately on a flat observe. He is been good round right here twice earlier than and he simply acquired right into a rhythm immediately and jumped and travelled good.

“He missed the final badly, however aside from that he was good. Usually your coronary heart is in your mouth for the final mile and a half with him, but it surely was only for the final two furlongs this time!

“He is an excellent horse on his day and I am over the moon. I put on my coronary heart on my sleeve and large winners is the place you wish to be.

“It is laborious work, you are getting up early within the mornings, like everybody else who trains horses. In the event you do not get pleasure from days like this you are within the incorrect career.

“I really like stress as a result of you probably have stress you are doing nicely and I thrive off that, however you have to ship on the large stage. It is taken me some time to have our second Grade One winner and I feel that is the most effective day of my profession to date.

“This lad is a homebred, the house owners dwell 10 minutes down the highway from me they usually come up and rub his again themselves. He is essentially the most attractive horse you will ever set your eyes on and for him to be a superb racehorse as nicely is even higher.

“I would not be so certain he’ll go chasing. I would faculty him over fences and see, however I would be fairly joyful to return again and win this race subsequent yr.

“Me and Sean are very shut. He is a good friend of mine in addition to driving for me and for him to have an enormous winner like that’s implausible. I am so fortunate to have him as my secure jockey.”

Bowen was thrilled to hit the mark for Murphy.

He mentioned: “It is unbelievable, I am unable to let you know how good it’s for Olly. He is been some time and not using a Grade One and he deserves all of the success he will get.

“Sturdy Chief is an excellent horse. He by no means places it collectively to be trustworthy, he generally is a poor {old} jumper, however he jumped nicely on the entire immediately.

“You want these large winners to show you are able to do it on the large day, so it is huge.”

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