Despite plenty of big-race triumphs at Cheltenham, Ferdy Murphy has yet to clinch victory in the £150,000 Grade Three Boylesports.com Gold Cup (2.30pm) but the North Yorkshire-based trainer is bidding to remedy that situation on Saturday, December 13, when he could saddle three of his stable’s big guns.
Murphy revealed this morning: "Three Mirrors will have an entry in the Boylesports.com Gold Cup and we’ll probably enter L’Antartique and Aces Four as well." The two mile, five furlong contest is one of the features on the Saturday of the two-day Boylesports International that commences on Friday, December 12.
The progressive Three Mirrors, who defeated subsequent Munster National winner Dear Villez at Ayr in April, returned from a seven-month break to run a fine race in the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup over half a furlong shorter at The Open on November 15. The eight-year-old belied his 50/1 starting price as he made eye-catching late progress to take fifth behind Imperial Commander.
The gelding could be joined by L’Antartique, successful over the course and distance in the Listed Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase at the 2007 Festival en route to landing the Paddy Power Gold Cup later that year. Murphy is also considering the race for King George VI Chase hope Aces Four who was a leading novice two seasons back, winning the Grade Two John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree. The nine-year-old raced only twice last term, most recently when fifth in a handicap hurdle at Market Rasen in March.
The West Witton trainer commented: "Three Mirrors ran a really good race in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, I’m happy with the horse and if we got a bit of dry ground we’d be very keen to go for the Boylesports.com Gold Cup. "L’Antartique is likely to run on Saturday (November 29) in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle, along with Aces Four, just to get a run into them both. We’d have a look at the Peterborough Chase as a possibility for one of them, rather than the Boylesports.com Gold Cup, but both of them will definitely have entries in the Cheltenham race and we’ll decide which horse goes where nearer the time.
"Aces Four is very well, we’re looking forward to running him soon and he’s going to go for the King George. He’s coming back after a bit of a break so I’m looking to get a couple of runs into him before then."