Havana Grey makes it a weekend to remember for Karl Burke

Sun 16 Sep 2018

Havana Grey ensured Karl Burke celebrated a Group One double on Irish Champions Weekend when winning the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.

Hot on the heels of the shock success of Laurens in the Matron Stakes barely 24 hours earlier, Havana Grey’s win was far more easy to find for punters, after running so well in the Nunthorpe last time out.

Ridden by Richard Kingscote with regular rider PJ McDonald on the sidelines injured, the 15-8 favourite was always in the front rank and travelling well.

Whereas habitual front-runner Take Cover was having to work hard to hold his position, Kingscote was able to sit motionless before making his bid for glory.

Hit The Bid looked the big threat with a furlong to run, but as he began to tire it was Son Of Rest who flew from the rear to take second, with Sioux Nation back in third.

“It’s what dreams are made of and this horse really deserved this,” Burke said.

“He’s been so consistent all year and turned up at every gig and yet he’s still only a baby. I wasn’t overly concerned with his runs early in the season as our horses weren’t firing at the time and I was always confident that he would come good.

“The race itself was straight forward. Richard said he pinged the gates and he let him bowl along. There’s been plenty of interest in him to go to stud so whether he stays in training we’ll see. He’s entered in the Prix de l’Abbaye but this race was a win and you’re in for the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint and I’d say he could go there.”

Kingscote said: “That was pretty straightforward, he knows his job well, pinged the lids and it was a great spare ride to get.

“I’ve had a couple of nice rides for Karl in the past, it’s unfortunate for PJ, and for Ben Curtis who was originally set to replace PJ but got injured himself, but Karl is one of my boss’ best mates so that might have helped me.

“He’s solid, he’s travelled, he knows what he’s doing and gave me a lovely ride today.”

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