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Tuesday 22 January 2019

Murphy happy all going to plan for Big Zeb title defence despite defeat

Colm Murphy would still not swap Big Zeb "for anything else" as his stable star builds towards going for back-to-back wins in the sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham next month

The County Wexford trainer's disappointment at Big Zeb's surprise defeat by Golden Silver in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown two weeks ago has been tempered with delight at how the preparation for the Festival this year has been going.

"He's very good and came out of the race really well," said Murphy. "We couldn't have been happier with him. We were disappointed with the result, but he ran a blinder. It's all systems go for Cheltenham.

"Things have gone really well with him and if we could have changed the result the last day everything would have gone to plan. We were disappointed to get beat but we weren't disappointed the way he ran so we couldn't be happier.

"I wouldn't want to swap my horse for anything else in the race at the moment, but I do have major respect for all the other horses."

Big Zeb is 3-1 second-favourite behind Master Minded, the 5-2 market leader, to retain his crown on March 16.

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