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Copperless gains compensation with runaway Swinton victory

Sat 8 May 2021

Watch how Olly Murphy's charge bolted up in the £100,000 Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle under Aidan Coleman plus reaction from the winning trainer.

By Nick Seddon

Trainer Olly Murphy revealed that he was thrilled to gain some compensation with the upwardly mobile Copperless, who made up for a late fall at the Randox Grand National Festival at Aintree by sealing a convincing eight and a half-length success in the Grade Three Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park today.

The six year old, returned the 9-2 favourite, was travelling eye-catchingly well when parting company with conditional jockey Lewis Stones at the second last on Merseyside last month, but there was no heartbreak here for Murphy’s charge, who travelled well into proceedings and drew clear after the final flight under Aidan Coleman.

And Murphy could not hide his delight at the performance. He said: “It was gutting what happened at Aintree, which was at no fault of the young lad Lewis Stones, but we’ve made amends today and he was really impressive.

“I was cursing the handicapper coming into this (after being raised 3lbs for his performance at Aintree) but how right he was! He’s a horse on an upward curve and we’ll enjoy today and winning a good pot. It was very impressive and he’s going to get clobbered for that but the Greatwood (staged at Cheltenham in November) the obvious option and he’ll contest nice races from now on.”

Copperless’ owners include Murphy’s father Aiden, and he added that he was thrilled to be able to scoop a nice pot for his dad. He said: “My dad is probably one of the most unlucky owners of racehorses ever, so I’m chuffed for him and I’m chuffed for the Peterson family who have supported me since I started training.”

Winning jockey Aidan Coleman added: “I’m delighted with that. He was very unlucky at Aintree when the young lad (Lewis Stones) gave him an absolutely cracking ride, it was one of those things and the horse learned from that today.

“He was limited in experience over hurdles and I felt really sorry for the connections that day because the young lad gave him a peach but he got his bit of justice today.

“He’s always been a nice horse and we’ve always really liked him, he’s got a lovely attitude and great character. He’s travelled around there really well and he’s won nicely and I’m sure he’ll progress.”

Back in second was the 12-1 chance Cormier for the Brian Ellison team and his jockey Danny McMenamin, last season’s champion conditional, was pleased with the run. He said: “He settled lovely early doors and jumped class, we probably a little cut up for room just turning up for straight but he’s run an absolute blinder to finish second.”

Back in third was the Philip Hobbs-trained Camprond (11-2 joint second favourite) and his jockey Tom O’Brien said: “Camprond has run a nice race, I’d say he’s suited by a bit better ground really as he’s quite a sharp type and obviously the winner fell when going well at Aintree last time. Nobody knew what he had left that day but you can see today that he had plenty and he beat me at the weights today.”

Dell’ Arca (11-1) came out of the clouds to snatch victory in the Pertemps Network Long Distance Handicap Hurdle.

The David Pipe-trained 12-year-old needed the long run-in from the final flight to reel in Trincomalee and score by a length in the hands of Fergus Gillard.

“I knew he would stay the trip and it was a such a long way from the last to the line, I needed every yard of it and he’s not stopped galloping,” said the 5lb claimer.

“When I won on Main Fact here it was a lot deeper. This place has done me good. Dell’ Arca is a lovely horse. I’m delighted for Caroline Tisdall (owner) and everyone at home. He’s such a yard favourite.”

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