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    Murphy, a national hero, is enjoying Rosallion's attempt to win the 2000 Guineas
Murphy, a national hero, is enjoying Rosallion's attempt to win the 2000 Guineas
Murphy, a national hero, is enjoying Rosallion's attempt to win the 2000 Guineas. Source: limerickleader.ie

Murphy, a national hero, is enjoying Rosallion's attempt to win the 2000 Guineas

Timmy Murphy has experienced success on the big stage and is accustomed to being the centre of attention. But now that Rosallion is leading City of Troy in Saturday's Qipco 2000 Guineas, he could cut a proud figure from his sofa.

Although Richard Hannon has never concealed his respect for Rosallion, the former jockey may be the one who is most familiar with Britain's best chance to win the first Classic of the summer and has the pleasure of putting the Blue Point son through his paces at Hannon's Everleigh base.

Throughout his career, Murphy rode over 1,000 winners in Britain. He made eight trips back to the winner's enclosure at the Cheltenham Festival and may have had his best hour riding Comply Or Die in the 2008 Grand National.

But since his retirement in 2018, the 49-year-old has been content to play a low-key role. He is now happy to step back and enjoy his role working behind the scenes at Rosallion from a distance.

Murphy said: “I won’t be there on Saturday, I’ll watch him on the television. He won’t be running any faster because I’m there. It’s different to being a jockey where you turn up on the day, do what you do and enjoy your success. But when you’re involved with him day in, day out, it’s pretty satisfying when you see them strut their stuff on the track.”

Rosallion's ability was evident from the beginning. He started at Newbury, just like many of Hannon's greatest former students, and then he quickly outran the opposition to win Listed honours on just his second start at Ascot.

His victory in the Pat Eddery Stakes made him the clear favourite in the Champagne Stakes, but on that September day in Doncaster, he was disappointed to come in third on the soft Town Moor going.

If not a case of bubble burst, Hannon experienced some soul-searching moments as his claims that Rosallion was the real deal were put to the test for the first time.

Now that the "cool kid" of Wiltshire is facing his date with destiny, Murphy expects Rosallion's temperament to play the ultimate role, putting those Classic hopes and dreams to the test.

He said: “He’s a very straightforward horse who has no issues. He’s very honest, he has a great temperament and he’s just so straightforward so my job is really easy. My only instructions when I got on him was to mind him – ride him properly, get him using himself and keep him safe. His main quality is his temperament, nothing fazes him and he’s just like a cool kid who takes everything in his stride. He wouldn’t be bothered by the big day – he’s just a professional.”

“Timmy rides him every day and has done a fantastic job,” said Hannon. “He can be a little bit keen and Timmy is one of those who is a horseman’s horseman. He looks after him every day and he has no interest in finding out how good he is. He rode him last year and has been absolutely instrumental in the horse’s preparation.”

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