FIRST LIEUTENANT (IRE) heads Irish bred Grade 1 Double
05 April 2013
Aintree’s three day meeting kicked off with a great day for Irish bred horses as they landed a Grade 1 double on Thursday. FIRST LIEUTENANT (IRE) was a deserving winner of the Betfred Bowl, battling bravely to defeat MENORAH (IRE) in a rousing finish. The son of PRESENTING ended a string of eight placed runs all in the highest company and he jumped boldly under Bryan Cooper top give trainer Mouse Morris a Grade 1 winner on his birthday. Mouse Morris ran three horses at Cheltenham and they all finished second and he commented;
“He hasn´t run a bad race all year so he deserves a good one. He is just a good balanced, old-fashioned sort of chaser. He needed it all today, especially here which was probably a bit sharp for him. He is getting more mature and staying a bit better. Gold Cup, Grand National, there could be anything next season.”
It was a third Grade 1 win for FIRST LIEUTENANT (IRE) who was bred by Mary O’Connor and bought at the Derby Sale at Tattersalls Ireland for €255,000 by Margaret O’Toole on behalf of owners Gigginstown House Stud. Quite often such a hefty price-tag can haunt a horse throughout their racing career but FIRST LIEUTENANT(IRE) was worth every cent of that not only because of the half million Euro in prize-money that he has won but for also the joy and excitement he has brought connections. He is still only an 8yo and is in the right care for his career to flourish.
The Irish bred ZARKANDAR (IRE) bounced back to form to win the Grade 1 John Smiths Aintree Hurdle for trainer Paul Nicholls and owner Chris Giles. The son of AZAMOUR (IRE) got a great front running ride from Ruby Walsh who kept just enough in the tank to see of a great effort from rising star THE NEW ONE (IRE). ZARKANDAR (IRE) was bred by HH The Aga Khan and is a half-brother to the former champion race-mare ZARKAVA(IRE). It was his third Grade 1 victory and according to his trainer he will be campaigned over three miles next season.