Murphy has grounds for optimism

John Murphy believes Newmill has place prospects with conditions in his favour for the John Smith’s Melling Chase at Aintree tomorrow.

John Murphy believes Newmill has place prospects with conditions in his favour for the John Smith’s Melling Chase at Aintree tomorrow.

Even so, the County Cork trainer accepts the 2006 Queen Mother Champion Chase winner has a stiff task against the last two victors of the Cheltenham two-mile prize, Voy Por Ustedes (2007) and Master Minded (2008)

Murphy hopes the extra half a mile will not inconvenience his 10-year-old, who has finished a respective fourth and fifth in the last two renewals of the Champion Chase.

“It’s the first time in a long time he’s had his ground, so hopefully he’ll put up a good performance,” said Murphy.

“I just hope he runs well and gets placed.

“He’s up against it but it will be interesting to see how he gets on over two and a half on good ground.

“I think he’ll get the trip on that type of track. I hope he does and he’s in good form.”

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