Murphy pleased with Zeb
(Healy Racing Photos)
Now an 11-year-old, Big Zeb has won the Grade Two contest for the last three years, along with the 2010 Queen Mother Champion Chase and five other Grade Ones.
His form dropped off slightly last term and it appeared that age was catching up with him towards the end of the season, but Murphy has never been happier with him at this stage of a campaign.
"He seems very well and it will be nice to get him started again," said Murphy on At The Races.
"It's going to be very competitive for Zeb this year. He seems well and we'll be disappointed if he can't put up a really good show.
"It's been a very lucky race for him, he's won it three times and it will be nice to go back there but I suppose it depends what's in it.
"We're going there hopeful. I can say he's never been better but he's never been 11 before so we're hoping for a nice run."
The ground remains unchanged at Thurles ahead of today's action which features the John Meagher Memorial Chase.