Ollie Murphy mulling over Long Walk date for Thomas Darby

Ollie Murphy is yet to decide the next test for Newbury Long Distance Hurdle winner Thomas Darby. The Howden Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday week could be a possibility.

Up and coming trainer Olly Murphy has plenty of options for Thomas Darby after the eight-year-old took the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

The Stratford trainer reports the eight-year-old to be in fine shape following his victory at Newbury, but is in no rush to commit Thomas Darby to the Grade One over an extended three miles.

"He's in really good form. It's still up in the air whether I'm going to go to Ascot with him," said Murphy.

"I'll look at the back end of the week or early next week, but I couldn't be happier with him.

"He's come out of Newbury really well. I haven't done a lot with him."

Thomas Darby is a general 7-1 chance with bookmakers for the Long Walk.

Murphy is to scour the programme book to find a suitable opportunity over the festive period for Itchy Feet.

The smart seven-year-old chaser has run two big races in defeat so far this season, finishing second to Allmankind in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree and to Bravemansgame in a Graduation Chase at Haydock.

"He came out of Haydock really well. It was a really pleasing run in hindsight. I'm not quite sure where we are going to go next but he's in great form," said Murphy.

"He deserves to win a nice race. He's been ultra consistent this year and I'm looking forward to finding something suitable for him over the Christmas and New Year period once I've spoken to connections."

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