• Murphy says he is still in shock after accumulator win
• Nicky Henderson describes bet as ‘amazing piece of foresight’
The stable lad Conor Murphy was back at work at Nicky Henderson’s yard this morning despite winning around £1m on a Cheltenham accumulator.
Henderson has sent out six winners at the Festival meeting this week with Murphy having backed five of those late last year to land a bumper pay-out.
Speaking to NewburyToday, Murphy said that he is still in shock after the win. “I still cannot believe it, even this morning it is still sinking in. I haven’t even thought about the money yet. It was just pure luck. I put the bet on just before Christmas in December, I just picked the five best horses and hoped for a lot of luck, I didn’t think much about it.”
Sprinter Sacre kicked off his winning spree with victory in Tuesday’s Arkle, Simonsig in the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle and Bobs Worth in the RSA Chase obliged on Wednesday along with Finian’s Rainbow, who is looked after by Murphy, in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Riverside Theatre’s win in the Ryanair Chase on Thursday sealed the bonanza for Murphy despite his poor start. “From the moment it set off it never looked like winning, he made loads of mistakes and looked miles off. I could not believe it when he came back to win,” he said. “I wasn’t really thinking about the bet when they all started coming in; you try so hard to get even one winner here, the day just draws you in.”
Speaking on Friday morning, Henderson said he was delighted for Murphy: “Everybody here is absolutely thrilled for him. It was just an amazing piece of foresight. Just the chances of all five getting to Cheltenham and all of them running in the right races, that would be long odds, particularly as with Simonsig we didn’t even know what race he would be running in until the other week. The chances of them getting there must have been at least 100-1 and the chances of them all winning, that must have been a 1,000,000-1.”
Henderson described Murphy as one of the “linchpins here [at the stables]” saying: “He’s the most lovely man, though, a fantastic guy and very quiet. He rides out Finian’s Rainbow every day of the week and he would probably know more than anyone else in the world about that horse.”
The only Henderson-trained winner Murphy did not have in his accumulator was Une Artiste, who triumphed in Wednesday’s Fred Winter at 40-1. However, Henderson revealed that Murphy could not possibly have included that filly as she was not even part of his team at the time he placed the bet. “He’s backed five out of our six winners and he couldn’t even have backed the other one as she wasn’t in the yard then, she was still in France,” he said.