No Diva antics as Crawley makes his mark
Shane Crawley’s progress has not gone
unnoticed within racing circles in the last year or so, and Sassy Diva’s
high-profile Dublin Racing Festival success, in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF
Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle will bring more attention.
Crawley is just 26 but has his licence five
years. He only went training because the majority of the foals produced by his
father John’s small band of broodmares were fillies that could not be moved on.
Astutely, the Dublin approached Pamela
Carberry, wife of the late legendary jockey and trainer Tommy, about renting
her yard and he is now training his select band of seven horses from the same
facility in which Bobbyjo won an Aintree Grand National.
A homebred, Cashelard Lady provided him
with his first winner in a Wexford bumper in October 2015. She won again that
year and is now in foal to Mount Nelson.
Sassy Diva is another homebred that runs in
Shane’s colours but four of his charges are now provided by outside owners. The
Kalanisi eight-year-old has also been victorious in Ayr this term as well and
her trainer’s return of four wins from 22 runners is his best to date.
The likelihood is that Sassy Diva will join
the Crawley broodmare contingent sometime in the future, but it is clear that
she has some good days left to come on the track before then.
Warren’s wonder Bagues Dublin priority
The impact the Dublin Racing Festival had
in its inaugural season in 2018 is best illustrated by the fact that English-based
trainer Warren Greatrex pinpointed the €73,750 first prize on offer in the
Grade One Flogas Novice Chase as the prime target of the season for his
brilliant mare La Bague Au Roi.
The attraction of earning a significant
chunk of the €1.8m in prizemoney on offer was an obvious attraction and
Greatrex would not be frightened off by the likely firepower possessed by the
Greatrex has campaigned his star bravely
all year, persistently taking on the geldings and beating them. She was already
a Grade One winner over fences prior to being saddled for action at
Leopardstown and with Richard Johnson on board, made it a pillar-to-post
victory over Kaiser Black, who ran a stunning race for point-to-point handler
Pat Doyle and his son Jack, who has been riding successfully in America for a
number of years.
Just how important the win and day was to the
Lambourn handler was evidenced by his admission that he had never been as
nervous before a race – this from a man who has enjoyed multiple Cheltenham Festival
success, including triumphing in the 2016 World Hurdle with Cole Harden.
He also suggested that more of his
colleagues would make the journey in the coming years, such was the place the
Festival was already establishing in the calendar.
The more the merrier.
Nolan’s renaissance gathering pace
Qamino was a popular winner of the Goffs
Handicap Chase on Saturday, a late withering run after jumping the last in
fourth helping him deny Dakota Moirette by half a length on the line.
It was a well-timed effort by jockey Bryan
Cooper and more than ample compensation, with €51,625 going to owners Manverton
Limited, having been denied by a head in the dying strides in Naas at the
beginning of January.
This was the 16th win of the
season for Paul Nolan, who has enjoyed a welcome resurgence in fortunes in the
past 18 months. This tally is already his best since the 2014-2015 campaign and
with the form his string is in at the moment, his target of 20 is within reach.
Like so many trainers, Nolan was a victim
of the economic downturn but along with his brother and right-hand man James,
has slowly rebuilt his stocks thanks to loyal owners. A multiple Grade One- and
Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer, and a one-time All-Ireland-winning hurler
with his native Wexford, the 50-year-old will forever be remembered for his
handling of Voler La Vedette, Joncol, Noble Prince, Shinrock Paddy, Cloone
River and Accordion Etoile among others.
Qamino has been wonderfully consistent this
season and having just turned six, should have more progress in the tank.
Discorama is another quality resident of Toberona Stables and was a very
unlucky faller at the last when upsides eventual winner Ballyward in graded
company at Naas recently. Fitzhenry is a good money-spinner and Chisholm Trail
has been victorious twice.
Recording a Dublin Racing Festival winner
confirms the Nolan renaissance.