Long Walk Hurdle run up in the air for Thomas Darby at Ascot says trainer Olly Murphy

The eight-year-old was an emphatic winner of the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury; Olly Murphy is undecided whether to send Thomas Darby up into Grade One company for the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot later this month

Thomas Darby, On The Blind Side and Paisley Park could all meet again at Ascot next
Image: Thomas Darby - not certain to run at Ascot despite comfortable Newbury victory

Trainer Olly Murphy has yet to decide whether to run Thomas Darby in the Howden Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday week.

The Stratford trainer reports the eight-year-old to be in fine shape following his victory in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, but is in no rush to commit Thomas Darby to the Grade One over an extended three miles.

"He's in really good form. It's still up in the air whether I'm going to go to Ascot with him," said Murphy.

Thomas Darby clears away from On The Blind Side to win the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury
Image: Thomas Darby clears away from On The Blind Side to win the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury

"I'll look at the back end of the week or early next week, but I couldn't be happier with him. He's come out of Newbury really well. I haven't done a lot with him."

Thomas Darby is a general 7-1 chance with bookmakers for the Long Walk.

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Murphy is to scour the programme book to find a suitable opportunity over the festive period for Itchy Feet.

The smart seven-year-old chaser has run two big races in defeat so far this season, finishing second to Allmankind in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree and to Bravemansgame in a Graduation Chase at Haydock.

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Thomas Darby
Image: Thomas Darby has been in impressive form so far this season

"He came out of Haydock really well. It was a really pleasing run in hindsight. I'm not quite sure where we are going to go next but he's in great form," said Murphy.

"He deserves to win a nice race. He's been ultra consistent this year and I'm looking forward to finding something suitable for him over the Christmas and New Year period once I've spoken to connections."

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