One of Britain’s youngest racehorse trainers, who will next week send out her first ever Cheltenham Festival runners, is becoming trainer ambassador of Huntingdon Racecourse.
Former amateur jockey Amy Murphy, who is based in Newmarket, will saddle Kalashnikov in the opening race of The Festival, the Grade 1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
The five-year-old horse has been defeated just once in his five-race career. His latest victory, in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last month, was the biggest success for the trainer to date.
Murphy (25) has worked for former international footballer Michael Owen’s trainer Tom Dascombe, Australian handler Gai Waterhouse and Luca Cumani in Newmarket. She set up as a trainer in her own right in August 2016 and has since sent out 27 winners and won prize-money of more than £300,000.
As well as star horse Kalashnikov, the trainer could saddle a second runner at Cheltenham. Mercian Prince has won both his races so far in 2018 - after running over the unique Grand National fences at Aintree in December - and is being targeted at the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate on Thursday next week.
Liam Johnson, general manager at Huntingdon Racecourse, said: “We are delighted to form this partnership with Amy Murphy, one of the rising stars of the training ranks and among the youngest racehorse trainers in Britain.
“It’s a big week for the Newmarket yard at the Cheltenham Festival next week and we are keeping our fingers crossed at Huntingdon that it will be a memorable and successful one for stable star Kalashnikov.”
Murphy said: “I am delighted to take up the role as trainer ambassador at Huntingdon Racecourse where I love having runners and which is the closest jump racing track to our base in Newmarket.
“This is a tremendously exciting time for the yard, being in the spotlight at the Cheltenham Festival and this new partnership will strengthen our profile even more.”
The next racing at Huntingdon Racecourse is on Wednesday, 14th March – the annual ‘Cheltenham Festival Fever’ meeting.
Main Enclosure admission for adults is £12 when purchased in advance. Accompanied under 18s enter free of charge. Tickets can be purchased at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk or on 0844 579 3007. The first race is at 1.45pm. Among the contests is the 188Bet Lady Riders’ Handicap Hurdle, while visitors can enjoy the action from the Cheltenham Festival on the big screen.
Hospitality and restaurant packages are available at all the racecourse’s fixtures for visitors wishing to make their trip extra special. Prices start at £73 per person on Wednesday, 14th March.