Murphy’s Delight won on his first start in Australia but took another 13 starts before registering his next victory with a gritty performance at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Taking advantage of the absence of De Little Engine, to whom he had been placed behind at his past two starts, Murphy’s Delight enjoyed a perfect ride by Damien Thornton. Although he raced wide, Murphy’s Delight was allowed to settle into his rhythm.
Rolling up four wide passing the 600 metres, Murphy’s Delight ($6) kept coming and struck the front around the home turn, staying on under a strong drive from Thornton to hold off Tanah Lot ($31) and score by a length with Wyoming ($5) making up good ground late to be a further half length off in third.
Murphy’s Delight had been racing consistently without winning and Cory Jones, representing trainer Chris Waller, said the import deserved to win the Melbourne Signage Concepts Handicap (2500m).
“He looked terrific today and he deserved to win a race, he’s been going well this preparation without winning,” Jones said.
“We came here confident he would run well today. He needs to be able to get into a rhythm and maintain his momentum and it all worked out perfectly.”
The win was the 50th city win for Damien Thornton and reduced his metropolitan claim to 1-1/2kg.
“He was very game and just kept going for me, it was a strong win.” the apprentice said.
Murphy’s Delight is a five-year-old son of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Hurricane Run and has won three of his 20 starts for his large group of owners headed by Neil Werrett, who also shares in the ownership of Headwater, winner of the opening race.