Brewin’Upastorm will head straight to the Cheltenham Festival after emerging unscathed from his final-flight fall at Prestbury Park on Saturday.
Olly Murphy’s charge made a big impression on his hurdling debut at Huntingdon in December, before finishing fourth behind Champ in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury later in the month.
He was a hot favourite to bounce back to winning ways in a trial for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham over the weekend, and was upsides eventual winner Birchdale when he crashed out at the last obstacle.
Murphy is pleased to report Brewin’Upastorm is none the worse – and he was encouraged enough by the Milan gelding’s performance before his tumble to aim him at the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle itself, for which he is a general 14-1 shot.
“He’s absolutely fine. He came home sound as a pound, and there’s not a bother on him,” said the Warwickshire-based trainer.
“It was disappointing, obviously, but that’s jumps racing for you. We’ll just move on and look forward to March.
“He’s not a bad jumper, and I don’t think he’s the kind of horse that would have his confidence knocked by a fall.
“We’ll get plenty of schooling into him between now and the Festival, and he’ll go straight there now.
“He’ll more than likely go for the Ballymore. He’ll be entered in a couple of handicaps – but the Ballymore is the plan.”
Another Murphy inmate with Festival aspirations is Thomas Darby.
Already a winner at Cheltenham this season, the six-year-old made the most of having his sights lowered when bolting up at Taunton earlier this month, and the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is likely to be his next port of call.
Murphy added: “He’s in good form. He had a quiet enough 10 days after Taunton, and the plan is to go straight to the Supreme.
“Again, he’ll probably be entered in a couple of handicaps. But all being well, he’ll end up in the Supreme – and if he gets a bit of nice spring ground I hope he’ll have a good each-way chance.”