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Horse Racing: Aces looking for happy return to Merseyside in totesport Bowl next month.


ACES FOUR got a feel for Aintree 12 months ago and now Ferdy Murphy is hoping for the same again.

The eight-year-old capped a productive campaign with victory in the John Smith's Novices Chase at last year's Aintree meeting. Murphy brought both Aces Four and National hope Joes Edge to Liverpool for racecourse gallop last year. And yesterday he did the same.

Aces Four had finished fourth to new Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman in the Royal & SunAlliance at last year's Festival prior to his profitable trip to Merseyside. But since things haven't gone to plan with his fall in the Champion Novices' Chase at Punchestown at the end of last season starting a problematic 12 months during which he has only been seen on the track twice.

The latter, though, was an encouraging fifth at Market Rasen over hurdles and Murphy hopes the horse can make his next trip to Merseyside another winning one in the totesport Bowl Chase on the opening day of Aintree's three-day Festival.

Murphy said: "He'll come here for the totesport Bowl.

He had a nice spin around over hurdles at Market Rasen a couple of weeks ago and seems grand.

He's a fresh horse and will run well, we'll just have to see what opposition lines up against him.

"He was right near the top of the tree last season and it was very interesting to see the Gold Cup. Go back 12 months and when he and Denman got to the third last, you really wouldn't have been able to split them.

"He came here and absolutely annihilated the field he was up against and then he would have won at Punchestown but for falling at the last. He is a high class horse and has only been held up by a stupid injury in the stable.

"That was just one of those things that happen. He rolled over in his stable and just clipped himself. It was freak.

Luckily enough, he has got a good owner and he told us to give him all the time that we needed to get him right again.

"There have been no longterm effects and he has been brilliant since he's been back in work. We've been chasing our tails a bit but the one thing you must do when you have a horse as good as him is take care. If you injure him again, you have nothing left and we are determined just to get him right."


Ferdy Murphy
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 19, 2008
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