Murphy overcomes another hurdle

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The Independent Online
Declan Murphy came through his first ride over jumps at Chepstow yesterday but, unlike his victorious return to race-riding at the same track a week ago, this time his mount could finish only seventh.

Murphy almost died after a fall in a hurdle race 17 months ago and Southampton, the beast charged with providing the jockey with a return to racing over timber, brought his rider back safely but 22 lengths behind the winner, First Century.

Murphy will compete his comeback slowly but may ride over fences at Newbury on Friday. "I intend to go into it at a level I enjoy. At the moment I'm enjoying it so I don't want to lose that. There will never be a feeling like last week again in my life, but today felt like work."

Retiring from racecourse work is Bahri, who was a disappointing fifth in the Champion Stakes last Saturday.

"Bahri has been a very good horse for us and obviously didn't stay in the Champion," his trainer, John Dunlop, said yesterday. The Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned horse was a major contributor to Dunlop landing his first trainers' championship, earning over pounds 480,000.

n A horse that slipped through the Jockey Club's net that sifts out applications to register horses with lewd or offensive names has been found out before he could reach the racecourse. The Richard Hannon-trained two-year-old by Archway out of Gobolino, due to run at Newbury on Thursday, was originally registered and entered as The Gobbler. The Jockey Club has taken exception to the name and the colt will now run under the name Golden Ace.

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