John Joseph Murphy has high hopes for the future with his promising two-year-old Charterhouse.
The colt was beaten by just a head on racecourse debut in a seven-furlong maiden at Leopardstown – finishing second at odds of 66-1 behind 4-5 favourite Masen.
Charterhouse holds a Group One entry in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on August 9.
Murphy is taking a long-term view of the horse’s prospects, however, and believes he will only improve as he matures.
“We’ve liked him from the start,” he said.
“He’s a gorgeous big horse that will be a better three-year-old than a two-year-old. We have big ideas about him and he’s in important races this year, but next year will be when he grows into his frame and he’ll be very exciting.
“He didn’t surprise us at all (in his maiden), he’d been working fantastically all the way through the spring and into summer so we knew he was a very, very good horse.
“I think his ideal trip will be seven furlongs, to go on to a mile.”
Charterhouse could be targeted at the inaugural Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes, which is scheduled to be run at Naas on August 3.
The race has a prize fund of 200,000 euro and is open only to two-year-olds sired by a stallion whose stud fee is no more than median value of 75,000 euro.
As a son of Darley’s Charming Thought, who is available at a stud fee of £5,000, Charterhouse comfortably meets the eligibility criteria.
“He’s in the Ballyhane Stakes, which is over six furlongs,” said Murphy.
“That’s very exiting prize-money, particularly for this horse, so there’s a possibility there also.
“He’s come out of his last race well, so we’re going to make a decision soon about which race to go for.”