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HRI Fact Book 2008 - Horse Racing Ireland

HRI Fact Book 2008 - Horse Racing Ireland

OCTOBER

OCTOBER 2008 career spanning a decade. Twice crowned Ireland’s champion amateur jockey, in 2005 Crowley made history by becoming the first woman to train an Irish classic winner when saddling Saoire to win the 1,000 Guineas. Married to jockey Pat Smullen with two young children, Crowley will reportedly remain within the racing industry. Earlier in the season, Paul Nicholls declared his intention to target the major Irish races with his powerful string and he started in fine style when saddling Dear Villez to win the Ladbrokes.com Munster National at Limerick. In the opening days of the month, David Wachman gained his third Group 1 win of the season when saddling Bushranger to win the Shadwell Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket and at the same track the following day, Halfway To Heaven gained her own third Group 1 win of the season when prevailing in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes for Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan. In early-October, the race for the Irish jockey’s championship really began to heat up. Johnny Murtagh led the table on 73 winners, but with overseas commitments and upcoming bans to contend with, both Fran Berry (72 winners) and Pat Smullen (71 winners) looked sure to make it an exciting sprint finish in the weeks that remained. The final card of the season at the Curragh took place early in the month and the star BACK IN THE NATIONAL HUNT ARENA, THE BATTLE OF THE FORMER CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP WINNERS PROVED TO BE NO CONTEST AT PUNCHESTOWN, WITH THE MOUSE MORRIS- TRAINED WAR OF ATTRITION MAKING AN IMPRESSIVE WINNING RETURN performer was the Dermot Weld-trained Grace O’Malley, who made a winning debut in the maiden for juvenile fillies. Ridden by Pat Smullen, the daughter of Refuse To Bend overcame her inexperience to prevail by a head and looks to be an exciting prospect for 2009. In mid-October, news reached the masses that Classic-winning trainer Frances Crowley had taken the decision to retire as a public trainer after a successful Remarkably, the two-day Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe meeting at Longchamp and the two-day Breeders Cup meeting at Santa Anita both failed to produce an Irish-trained winner, but in between those disappointments there was a tremendous winning performance from the Jim Bolger-trained, Kevin Manning-ridden New Approach in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket on what would prove to be the three-year-old’s final career outing. Earlier on that card, the pair had gained a somewhat unexpected win with Intense Focus in the Dewhurst Stakes, giving the Coolcullen team their third consecutive win in the race and capping a wonderful season for Bolger and Manning. As well as New Approach being retired, the stunning Prix De l’Arc De Triomphe winner Zarkava and Big Brown, who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, were also retired in this period. Back in the National Hunt arena, the battle of the former Cheltenham Gold Cup winners proved to be no contest at Punchestown, with the Mouse Morristrained War Of Attrition making an impressive winning return from a 22- month absence. Ridden by Davy Russell, the nine-year-old ran out a comfortable victor over Kicking King in the Grade 3 Star ´Best For Racing Coverage´ Chase. 22 FACTBOOK 2008

OCTOBER ATTENDANCE FIXTURES TOTE BOOKMAKERS SP SHOP NO OF RUNNERS 2008 60,703 33 2,464,225 8,603,219 880,448 3,341 2007 76,312 32 2,815,842 12,882,656 1,195,995 3,554 VARIANCE -15,609 1 -351,617 -4,279,437 -315,547 -213 % VAR -20.5% 3.1% -12.5% -33.2% -26.4% -6.0% FACTBOOK 2008 23

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