Day At The Track

The 'fox' looms as a force for Murphy

12:00 PM 19 Apr 2019 NZST
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David Murphy with sons Brent and Declan and recent winner Me Pat Malone The Murphy team working on their Ballarat property
David Murphy with sons Brent and Declan and recent winner Me Pat Malone
Ballarat Harness Racing Club Photo
The Murphy team working on their Ballarat property

When harness racing trainer-driver David Murphy and his wife Erin took a young trotter to the sales and it was passed in, they weren’t the slightest disappointed in returning home with it.

Murphy, a highly respected trainer-driver based at Ballarat, put a $10,000 reserve on the Yankee Spider-sired filly, but the top bid fell way short, at $6,500.

Now the couple are smiling all the way to the bank as Fox Force Five (Yankee Spider-Motu Vee (Yankee Paco) shapes up as a bright prospect for the stable.

 Murphy bounced the three-year-old filly to the lead at Ballarat on Tuesday night in the Eureka Lending Group Trot and it was virtually a case of “it’s all over, red rover” from that point.

Fox Force Five trotted faultlessly in 33, 32.4, 29 and 28.9 for 2.03-6 (2200m) and won nicely – well, like a warm $1.40 favorite should!

Click here for a video replay

“I probably didn’t have much to worry about as she felt great and she did it comfortably,” Murphy said.

“That was her third win from 17 starts and she is a terrific little earner. I think the worst she has ever finished in her races is fifth spot,” he said.

“We are aiming her later on for all the group races. There will be some smart ones in those features, but we won’t be disgraced.”

Murphy said he trained Motu Vee, the dam of Yankee Spider, who didn’t make it to the races.

“We got her to the trials a few times, but she kept having trouble on the bends.,” he said.

“I persevered for a long time because her dam, Motu Avrill was a nine times winner. She won six in New Zealand and then two at Cranbourne and one at Moonee Valley for over $78,000.

“When I finally did give up, the owner said he didn’t want her back, so we decided to get her in foal. Yankee Spider was leaving some winners at the time, so that was where she headed.”

Murphy was most keen on Fox Force Five when she was being broken in.

“I certainly had a bit of an opinion of her, and as a two-year-old, her trials were very good,” he said.

“But at the races she would make mistakes which was annoying. But she did show enough ability to keep with them and be up with the best.

“Some of those early race starts were at Melton and she was never beaten by huge margins.

“After four placings she broke through for a win at Kilmore last August, so we tipped her out. She then got the money when we brought her back to the track at Melton in January and a handful of nice runs led up to the win at Ballarat.”

Murphy said he now he is facing a small dilemma regarding the square gaiter.

“She is at that awkward growing stage, so we’ll have to sit down and work out if we press on or not,” he said.

The Murphy stable has a team of 20 in work at present. Other recent winners include Me Pat Malone (Ballarat) and Ima Showgirl (two wins at Geelong), while some youngsters are bringing smiles of anticipation.

“There’s a two-year-old by Village Jolt that goes along okay as well as a couple of others, so things are picking up again,” he said.

“We dropped off the pace with a bit of lull there for a while, but the past 18 months have been better, so things are looking up again.”

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura


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