Barry Murphy has Cheltenham Festival in mind for Pairofbrowneyes

Thu 19 Jan 2017

Trainer Barry Murphy will consider a Cheltenham Festival appearance for Pairofbrowneyes following another fine effort in defeat at Fairyhouse last weekend.

Although winless since landing the Tim Duggan Memorial Chase at Limerick in December 2015, the eight-year-old has been placed in six of his subsequent seven starts, including when defending his crown at Limerick last month.

He made a swift return in the Dan Moore Memorial Chase on Sunday and while Murphy feels his stable star was not at his best, he still managed to fill the runner-up spot behind the impressive Ball D'Arc.

"He is very well and, in hindsight, the race came a little quick after his run in Limerick," said Murphy.

"Those consistent types are very hard on themselves and Mikey (Fogarty, jockey) said he was a little flat after a mile in his race the last day.

"He said he didn't give him the same feel as at Cheltenham in November."

The County Wexford-based trainer now plans to give his charge a break before preparing him for a possible tilt at the Grand Annual at Prestbury Park in March.

He said: "We'll freshen him up now and he'll get an entry in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham.

"We'll also look at a Grade Three at Naas on February 28.The weights will be out for the Grand Annual by then so we'll then be able to have a look at the Naas race.

"I'll definitely be hoping for a bit of give (in the ground) if he is to run at Cheltenham.

"And while we've had a dry winter, historically I know that if the weather starts to turn in Ireland or England, the ground can turn quickly.

"In his last 10 runs, he has only been out of the first three once and he is an unbelievably consistent type."

Murphy added: "He'll be my only possible runner at Cheltenham.

"Any of the ones that I've had which raced at Cheltenham were sold on, but that's the way we work.

"It would be lovely to hold on to those nice horses but we that's the way it has to be.

"We've a clatter of young horses coming along now and hopefully they'll be sold or win races for us."

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