Olly Murphy: The verdict on my runners this week and plans for Cheltenham
Although it was a relatively quiet snow affected week for Olly Murphy, the team landed a pair of winners on the flat, with both back in action in the coming days. The Betfair Ambassador returns with his thoughts on all of his runners this week - plus early thoughts on his Cheltenham plans...
"Runs in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase. He ran well at Warwick the last day when not jumping with much fluency, again he could out run his odds he's in very good form and won a nice handicap at Musselburgh on New Years Day. I'm looking forward to running him and I think the step up to 2 miles 5 furlongs will suit him well."
Hopeful of a big show from Napping on Monday
Southwell 14:50 - Avocet
Looks to complete a hat trick at Southwell, she handles the track well, but is stepping up in grade and has gone up in the weights. She does look to have a very good chance and Luke Morris gets on very well with her. She is also declared to run at Kempton tomorrow.
Napping - has a nice mark. I'm a little bit worried about the surface but she's in very good form and looks to be capable of winning off her mark. I'd be hopeful of a big show if she handles the track. I make her my best chance of the week.
Compatriot in good form ahead of Thursday run
Compatriot heads to Southwell under a penalty. He seems in very good form after his back to back wins last week and looks like he's improving, again the surface is an unknown, but he looks like he can still win off his mark and he is due to go up to a mark of 69 in the future.
Looking forward to a tasty run from Whiskey on Saturday
Whiskey In The Jar - runs in the EBF final at Sandown. He's been very good in his last 2 starts, is still a big, raw baby and going right handed is a big question mark. He looks very unexposed and I don't think he has a bad mark of 130 so I'm really looking forward to seeing him run.
A busy Sunday in store
Calipso Collonges looks to make it a hat trick at Market Rasen and he's in good form at home. I think he's very capable of winning off a mark of 110 and I'm looking forward to seeing him run; the softer the ground the better.
Simafar and Zamalight head to Warwick and both will have to to improve massively on what they have shown so far to be competitive.
Imperial Knight runs in the bumper. He had a very good first run at Fakenham where he didn't get the run of race but he's improved for the run and the big galloping track at Warwick will suit him well.
My team for Cheltenham
Wednesday - Oxford Blu
I think he could well out run his price in the Fred Winter Juvenile, he was unlucky not to win a competitive handicap hurdle on his last start and I'm putting a pair of blinkers on him. He will love the hustle and bustle of a big field, he's street wise and I thought at 20/1 he was a nice each way bet.
Thursday - Knockgraffon
Runs in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase. He ran well at Warwick the last day when not jumping with much fluency, again he could out run his odds he's in very good form and won a nice handicap at Musselburgh on New Years Day. I'm looking forward to running him and I think the step up to 2 miles 5 furlongs will suit him well.
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