NAME: CHURCHILL FLYER
COLOUR: BRIGHT BAY
SIRE: POLICY MAKER
DAM: CHILL THE BEANS
TRAINER: OLLY MURPHY
Pinhooked as a young horse on the basis of his eye-catching confirmation and fashionable sire, this gelding by Policy Maker has been professionally broken in by the best in the business; the husband and wife team of Charlie Poste and Francesca Nimmo.
He spent 6 weeks at their training base in Ettington and has graduated from his time on their gallops and world famous jumping lane having proved to be a well liked horse going about his work with plenty of promise.
He is naturally athletic and took his work well. Churchill Flyer is by a progressive sire who from a moderate book of mares has produced some crackers, the most famous of which so far is Chacun Pour Soi!
We can’t wait to see what’s under the lid. There is of course no guarantees with horses, but we like what we have seen to date and he has done absolutely everything right.
It is very rare to be able to buy a store horse privately, knowing their previous movements. Often times, stores can be purchased for plenty of money only to be disappointing when broken. We’ve skipped the first hurdle and can kick on knowing we have a horse with promise that is capable of winning races!
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Other smart performers by the sire include the French Grade-1 winning hurdler Roll On Has, the Grade-1 placed chaser Velvet Maker and the 156-rated Paul Nicholls-trained chaser Art Mauresque.
MEET THE TRAINER: OLLY MURPHY
From an early age Olly’s future lay in the racing industry. Originally Olly’s ambitions were in the saddle. He attended Pony Club, hunted and led his Mum’s string, before riding in point-to-points and progressing to riding as an amateur under rules. He rode 30 winners before he inevitably outgrew his breeches!
Once Olly had decided he wanted to a train, he spent a year with Alan King. He then made the move to Ireland, joining Gordon Elliott as Assistant Trainer. Olly spent four seasons with Gordon, tasting success at the highest level. During Olly’s time, Gordon won several Grade 1’s, numerous Festival winners and it was all topped off by Don Cossack winning the 2016 Gold Cup.
In 2017, the time came for Olly to take up the reins himself. Three years into his training career, Olly has trained 232 winners, won over £2 million in prize money and is a Grade 1 winning trainer. Not a bad start so far!
4f Wexford sand gallop
5f carpet gallop
Martin Collins 2f all-weather schooling lane with Easyfix Hurdles
Schooling ground on grass
4 x walkers
100 acres of turn out paddocks and woodland
RISING STAR: CHAMPAGNESUPEROVER
Made notorious after his catchy, post-England World Cup Cricket success, champagnesuperover has become one of the most exciting prospects in the National Hunt game. A 16-length winning debut in a bumper saw him pitched into Listed level, and he did his reputation no harm when securing third behind two likeable types. He looks set to go over hurdles this coming season and is certainly going to be one to side with.
Olly Murphy’s rise through the training ranks has been so rapid that it doesn’t even seem strange that he’s already got a plethora of stars in his yard, despite only taking out a training license in 2017.
Itchy Feet was ultimately the horse that pitched him among the best for the first time, after bringing a first taste of Grade 1 success in the 2019 Sclilly Isles Novices’ Chase. He was subsequently sent off as a second favourite for the Marsh at the Cheltenham Festival but unseated before he could make his mark. Still only 6, he could be Olly Murphy’s stable star for some time yet.
Another big name from the Warren Chase stable is the ever consistent Brewin’upastrom, who has recorded wins over both hurdles and fences and consistently been involved at the top level. He’s another flag bearer for the yard and one to watch at the Festival for the years to come.
Olly leading in Tiger Roll to the Cheltenham Festival winners enclosure, when assistant to Gordon Elliott.
Another name that will stand out when walking round Warren Chase is the ever reliable, ever impressive, Thomas Darby. Yet to finish outside the top three in his 10 career starts to date, he's most known for his impressive second to Klassical Dream in the 2019 Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but he's a graded winner in his own right after staying on strongly in Grade 3 company to win in early 2020. As is the theme at Olly's, he's only seven and has a hugely promising career ahead of him.
"The most important time in a racehorses lifetime is the
pre-training, Charlie is one of the best in the business" - Olly Murphy
The formidable team of Charlie Poste and Fran Nimmo need no introduction to most National Hunt fans and continue to push forward as the leading lights of the pre-training and point to point training ranks. Charlie has developed a solid reputation for breaking and schooling many good horses running under rules and has developed a strong working relationship with the likes of Olly Murphy and Dan Skelton, who trust him to give their youngsters the best start. Francesca, a talented rider in her own right has trained an incredible amount of point to point winners in recent years and there’s no doubt that this racing power couple are a force to be reckoned with, now and in the future. It is very much a team effort, and the results are testament to that.
On top of their own obvious talents, they have found their groove with an enviable training base in Ettington, near Stratford. We’ve been lucky enough to watch the process with our Policy Maker Gelding and have been impressed from start to finish. Young horses start life in the round pen, where they trot and canter with a rider on board. Once happy in themselves with tack and a rider on board and deemed ready, they progress into canter work on the uphill gallop. The name of the game is jumping, and this is where the pairs now recognisable jumping lane comes into use, as the youngsters follow a lead horse over a varied succession of obstacles along a railway bank held in by shrubs, hedges and trees. It’s a wonderful way for horses to learn how to use themselves, and you only have to watch a few videos to see that the work riders (including Charlie and Fran themselves) give their students every chance to maximise their natural ability. It’s a wonderful academy for a young horse, and the recent addition of the fast schooling strip alongside the existing gallops is sure to reap further rewards - enabling horses to jump upsides, at race pace before stepping foot on the course.
All stories have a headline and for Fran and Charlie, their store purchase turned rules winner Garry Clermont is google’s answer to their biggest success to date. The horse, bought for 25k won his maiden, going on to be sold for £150k at the Tattersalls Cheltenham Sale. Whilst training and selling winning pointers is clearly a lifeblood and a passion, it’s clear to us that they find equal pleasure in breaking and pre-training future stars of the race course who go straight into training under rules and it’s only a matter of time before horses leaving this amazing place are winning the biggest of races.