Murphy squad primed

Middleham handler primed for NH Festival once again

Last Updated: 08/03/12 2:22pm

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Sky Bet

Ferdy Murphy feels he has another strong team heading towards the Cheltenham Festival next week.

The Middleham handler usually pulls one rabbit out of the hat each year in the Cotswolds, with Divers landing the Centenary Novices' Chase 12 months ago.

Festival regular Kalahari King will have another go in the Ryanair Chase, having finished second last year, but it is in the handicaps Murphy looks strong.

Divers will return, this year in the Byrne Group Plate, and will have the assistance of Tony McCoy in the saddle with stable jockey Graham Lee injured.

De Boitron finished fourth in the Grand Annual last year and has that race as his aim again, while the unexposed novice Going Wrong has the race won by Divers, now known as the Pulteney Land Investments Novices' Handicap Chase, as his target.

"Graham came in to oversee the schooling of Divers this morning and was very pleased with him," said Murphy.

"At the same time Lucy Alexander popped De Boitron over a few fences and he jumped really well, too.

"Those two are going really well and must have decent chances. They've both run well at the meeting before and they love good ground.

"Davy Russell has been booked for Going Wrong and I think he must also have a chance.

"I've got a lot of horses who want good ground and two weeks ago it looked like I was going to be able to run them all and then the rain came again.

"We're looking forward to it though, and hopefully we'll come back with a winner."

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