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Horse Racing - Racing: Murphy targets Fontwell double

Olly Murphy's stable star Brewin'upastorm will aim to make it back-to-back wins in Fontwell's Grade 2 National Spirit Hurdle on Sunday, as the Midlands trainer hopes a stellar season can continue ahead of another tilt at the Aintree Hurdle.

The nine-year-old bounced back in style from falling at the final flight when looking set to justify favouritism in the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, to land a valuable £100,000 prize at Lingfield's inaugural Winter Million meeting last month.

Sole loss so far this season

But for that Cheltenham mishap, Brewin'upastorm would be unbeaten this season and looks set to be much shorter in the betting for the Grade 1 contest at April's Grand National meeting, in which he was fifth last year.

Brewin'upastorm has relished the return to hurdles and, since a fruitless spell chasing was shelved in 2020, he is unbeaten in all completed starts other than last year's Aintree Hurdle.

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However, an emphatic nine-length success over course and distance on his seasonal reappearance in November provided cause for optimism for Murphy, who is skipping the Cheltenham Festival in favour of the tried and tested route of Fontwell followed by Aintree.

Cheltenham not on the agenda

Murphy said: "I've entered him for the National Spirit on Sunday as he's in really good form. He's had a really good season and the plan is to allow him to defend his crown.

"It will be Fontwell-Aintree again this year no doubt. Cheltenham won't be on his agenda.

"He's unlucky not to be unbeaten this season. We've found his trip and got his confidence back. Fontwell will suit him again and we're really looking forward to running him."

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