Thomas Darby primed for fencing debut

Olly Murphy is looking forward to Thomas Darby making his debut over fences in the Use The Tracker Novices’ Chase at Warwick on Friday.

The Stratford trainer reports the six-year-old to have taken to the bigger obstacles well at home and cannot wait to get him back to the track.

Thomas Darby enjoyed a successful novice hurdle campaign, ending with an excellent second to Klassical Dream in the Supreme at the Cheltenham Festival.

“He’s in good form. It looks a good starting place. His schooling has been good and I’m looking forward to getting going with him,” said Murphy.

“It looks a nice starting point and it is only a starting point. We’re looking forward to getting him going.

“It’s a nice, big galloping track and local to us. Whatever he does tomorrow, he’ll improve on.

“He’s obviously the best hurdler in the race, so hopefully he’ll have a clear round and we’ll move on to bigger and better things.”

One of Thomas Darby’s four rivals is his stablemate, Mon Port, who had a bad experience on his first try over fences at Sedgefield in May.

“He needs to restore his confidence,” said Murphy.

“He had a fright at Sedgefield on his first run over fences, so if he has a good round of jumping I’ll be delighted.”

The main danger to Thomas Darby is likely to be the Dan Skelton-trained Maire Banrigh, who got off the mark over fences at the first attempt at Stratford a month ago.

Gary Moore’s Esprit De Somoza and Belargus, from Nick Gifford’s stable, make up the quintet.