Ferdy Murphy has a master touch when it comes to training winners in the big handicap races at the Cheltenham Festival and his latest success, Divers, is set to make his return to the track this season. The Centenary Novices Chase winner from the Festival will return at Carlisle in a low key race before hopefully heading back to Cheltenham for a tilt at the Paddy Power Gold Cup next month. It's the same path Murphy used with L'Antartique with much success back in 2007 and connections are hopeful Divers is in the same class. Divers was impressive at the festival last season when winning the first Centenary Novice Chase under a cool ride from Jockey Graham Lee and many believe he could be set for more glory this term.
The Paddy Power Gold Cup is perhaps the most prestigious early season race on the National Hunt calendar and forms the feature race on the card at the Open Meeting at Cheltenham each November. Murphy is well known for his success in handicaps and with that in mind Divers has to be taken seriously if he arrives at the Open Meeting for the Paddy Power. At the moment it is Mon Parrain who is holding favouritism for the big handicap race with the Paul Nicholls horse expected to get his chance off of a nice weight. The Open Meeting is always an important fixture with the Cheltenham Festival in mind, it offers punters an early chance to see some potential stars taking their chance over the Championship courses. It can offer plenty of early season clues as trainers look to get a run into their stable stars, it is worth noting that we saw Long Run finish third in the Paddy Power last year before winning the Gold Cup at the Festival.