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    Amy Murphy is aiming for Sandown to chase Rock Hunter at Ascot
Amy Murphy is aiming for Sandown to chase Rock Hunter at Ascot
Amy Murphy is aiming for Sandown. Source: attheraces.com

Amy Murphy is aiming for Sandown to chase Rock Hunter at Ascot

Rock Hunter failed badly on the day of the Royal Ascot Trials, earning himself a trip to Sandown's Orbital Veterinary Services National Stakes.

The son of Expert Eye was spotted making an impression at Chantilly on his debut, where he went on to achieve a three-length success. He was part of Amy Murphy's raiding assault on France early in the season.

That brought in over £21,000 in prize money for the £32,000 yearling, and he would go on to win an additional £5,000 when Dominic French Davis's Enchanting Empress stopped him in the race at Ascot by a neck.

The colt is currently scheduled for an outing on May 23 in Esher, where connections anticipate he will purchase a ticket for the Royal meeting.

Murphy said: “He ran well at Ascot and travelled really strongly through the race, he just probably didn’t learn enough at Chantilly first time out and just felt it when he came off the bridle. It was good and that’s why they have trials and he will have learned a lot from the race and improved. I hope Ascot is the aim and he will probably go to the National Stakes now and have a crack at that and then hopefully on to Ascot.”

Hot Darling and Convo joined Rock Hunter on the scoresheet in the early going of 2024, proving that Murphy's early-season ploy of robbing early-season prizes in France has once again paid off.

In addition to the increased prize money, Murphy believes that the Chantilly scorer is headed for a swift advancement in the class and that the Channel-hopping endeavours are beneficial in gaining experience for events such as Royal Ascot.

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