Olly Murphy riding high as Britain’s newest trainer after quick double

Britain’s newest trainer, Warwickshire-based Olly Murphy, is, at 25, also one of the youngest and has immediately become one of the hottest, too. His very first runner proved to be a winner when Dove Mountain scored at Brighton last week and the first two he sent over jumps finished first and second at Market Rasen on Sunday, the winner defying odds of 16-1.

“We’ve had a magic start,” Murphy said on Tuesday as he drove to the races. “It’s been the kind of thing we could only have dreamt of. It’s all about keeping the momentum going now, keeping the head down and moving forward.”

Murphy is the son of Anabel Murphy, a low-profile trainer who has racked up a great deal of experience over the years but sometimes has as many winners in a season as Olly has now managed in a week. Their stables, near Stratford, are about 400m apart and, while he will inherit some of her string, she will keep her licence and focus on some sprinters.

Murphy, whose Warren Chase yard is a converted stud, has the highest aspirations, while acknowledging how much hard work will be needed to achieve them. “I’ve always wanted to be the best at what I do, ever since I was young,” he says. “If someone said they didn’t want to be champion, well, they shouldn’t be training. It’s something I dream of doing and I’m a million miles from it just now but I’ll get my head down and see what happens.”

When Murphy speaks of success at the highest level, he has some knowledge of what that would take, having spent the past four years working for Gordon Elliott. He only left his post as assistant there in May, after the titanic battle for the Irish championship in which Elliott just lost out to Willie Mullins. Murphy was there, too, when the yard’s Don Cossack won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and he had a hand in bringing Diamond King, the Coral Cup winner, into the stable.

“It was great to see the place grow and Gordon become a more established trainer each year,” Murphy says. “It’s a fantastic place and I’ve got great memories of it. I still speak to Gordon every day; we got fairly close while I was out there and I left on great terms.”

Murphy’s father, Aiden, is a well known, highly successful bloodstock agent who will surely do his level best to see that his son is well supplied with quality raw material. Murphy Sr buys horses for the owners Grahame and Diana Whateley and has provided classy animals for other owners at Philip Hobbs’s Minehead stable.

As a statement of faith, the Whateleys have sent young Murphy a promising ex-pointer from Ireland called Rio Quinto who cost them £130,000 at auction last month. “He’s got a bit of a reputation,” Murphy says, “and he’s certainly a horse to look forward to for the winter. I’ve had an awful lot of support for someone who’s not been training very long. It’s been fantastic, a bit overwhelming, to be honest.

“When you work for the best, as I did with Gordon, you get quite a lot of expectation put on your shoulders. When I arrived back home, a lot of people have expected me to start well.”

Murphy has made good on those expectations so far, which is doubtless why such an inexperienced trainer was able to book the champion jump jockey, Richard Johnson, for both his runners at Uttoxeter on Tuesday night. Murphy intends to pursue a “best available” policy when it comes to jockeys and Johnson certainly qualifies.

There are 18 horses currently in training at Warren Chase, 18 more to come for the core jumps season and, Murphy says, plenty of room to expand if anyone wants to send a few more.

Meanwhile, Frankie Dettori has opted for a gentle reintroduction at Newmarket on Thursday, when he makes his comeback from the broken shoulder that forced him to miss Royal Ascot last month. The Italian will have just two rides, including last year’s Derby fourth, Wings Of Desire, in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes.

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