sport

Big hopes for Murphy's colt

Mike Murphy is excited about the future for American Hope following his fine run in defeat at Lingfield on Saturday.

The American-bred colt won a Dundalk maiden last year before joining Murphy for 34,000 guineas and he made a fine debut for his new connections when runner-up in a Lingfield conditions event at the end of February.

He stepped up to Listed class for Saturday's Spring Cup and raised his game to go down by just a head to William Haggas' potential 2000 Guineas contender Ertijaal.

While Murphy has no Classic aspirations for American Hope, he is confident there will be plenty of big days for his three-year-old.

Murphy said: "We were a bit disappointed after the race as I think if he'd jumped a bit quicker, he'd probably have won, but we were delighted with how he ran.

"He'd shown us at home he's a pretty decent horse and we thought he'd come on for his last run, so we thought he'd run a big race yesterday and he did just that.

"I'm not sure where we'll go with him now, but we'll try not to over-race him.

"He's come out of the race well and there are lots of options, so we'll see.

"Lingfield wouldn't really be his track - he's a big framed horse and a more galloping track will suit him a lot better.

"He's really a miler and what he's done over six and seven furlongs has been a bonus.

"Hopefully he can go and win a Listed race and progress into a Group horse."