Day At The Track

Party time for the Murphy clan

07:15 PM 24 Mar 2020 NZDT
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David Murphy and son Declan enjoying beachside at Port Adelaide,Harness racing
David Murphy and son Declan enjoying beachside at Port Adelaide.

The Victorian-based Murphy harness racing stable didn't let a minor mechanical mishap spoil the party at the weekend.

Experienced trainer-driver David Murphy made the eight-hour trip across to Adelaide's Globe Derby Park to contest the $20,000 SA Oaks - and scored easily with his talented youngster Final Peace (Village Jolt-Peaces Of You (Peace Of Art).

But it wasn't simply a case of load up and head back over the border after collecting the spoils!

"We were driving down the hills coming into Adelaide when the alternator light of the F250 came on," Murphy said.

"I decided to keep going and get to the track where we were stabled at Mick and Vicky Norman's place and then worry about it later and thankfully everything went to plan in the Oaks," he said.

Murphy, and son Declan, then extended their stopover to get the mechanical problems attended to, but with "mission accomplished", there was something of a celebratory mood.

"Mick and Vicky loaned us their car for the weekend while ours was waiting to be repaired and Declan and I went for a look around Port Adelaide. That was awesome!"

Declan with pacers Final Peace and Juliustigres taking a break at Kaniva on route to Globe Derby Park.

Final Peace has stamped herself as a more-than-handy type, with four wins from her 17 starts.

"My brother John broke her in and had a good opinion of her. She won a bonus at her third start and was third in the Breeders Crown at Melton and showed she wasn't far below the best of them," Murphy said.

"She is a nice filly and after a little breather of one or two weeks, we'll aim her for the Vicbred races where she will race against her own age."

Final Peace was beaten for gate speed early when Cuzin Lyndal, another Victorian visitor, accelerated quickly under the whip for Jayden Brewin, but galloped soon afterwards.

This presented Murphy with the leader's role and he was then able to drop anchor with a soft 62.8 sec first half. The feature event turned into a sprint home, with Murphy putting the foot down with 500m to go.

Watch the race replay here.

"I did have a bit of a pre-race plan in my head. I thought if I could hold up until the first corner, then look for some cover or slow the tempo down, I'd get my chance. It was the first time the filly had raced on a smaller track (845m), but she handled it nicely," Murphy said.

"I probably stole it by going quite slow in the early stages. It was one of my most enjoyable wins because when a plan works out and all the stars align, it's a great feeling."

The stable also finished third on Saturday night with mare Juliustigres in the $9000 2020 Norman Memorial. The winner being Labella Rock, trained by Greg Scholefield.

Murphy has an unbelievable strike-rate at Globe Derby Park over the years, winning a number of feature events.

"I've probably won the group one Derby a couple of times, with the most recent a few years ago with The Night Pearl. We love going over there because you meet such lovely people along the way," he said.

"I reckon I've stayed with the Normans since I was about 20 and we have a great friendship. They've sent horses over to us and we've won sires semi-finals and one time went down by a short half head in a final.

Murphy said it was disappointing that an animated group of young owners could not make the interstate trip to watch their horse.

"They're a bunch of blokes from around our area that my cousin got together at the pub one night. They just love it, but like everyone else, they weren't allowed to be at the track. They would have been watching on Sky channel somewhere though!

"The were absolutely rapt and it's a pity they weren't on track because they would have lit up the place! They don't mind a drink and a celebration, but that's what the sport is all about and we should all be trying to find these types of owners to get involved."

The Murphy duo finally hit the road for home early yesterday afternoon after an auto electrician did the repair job...fortunately without delay, with a South Australian border lockdown due to take effect from Tuesday afternoon.

"While I love the place, we couldn't have afforded to be stranded in South Australia because there's a team of 20 horses in work at home," Murphy said.


Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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