Anirishman banked his second country cup’s win in the space of a month when securing the $30,000 Bet365 Penshurst Cup on Saturday.
In what could only be described as ‘crazy’ weather, his owners had to be a little more patient before collecting this Cup.
On a track that was downgraded to a Heavy 9 after the previous race, lightning in the area delayed the start of the race by nearly one hour.
The obvious concern before the meeting started was whether the track remained in the slow range, the gelding had always struggled on tracks rated heavy.
Despite not looking totally comfortable in the conditions, he was able to out-slog his rivals to record his fifth career win.
With Harry Grace replacing Neil Farley who opted to ride runner-up Never Again, the race panned out perfectly when runaway leader Clever Man provided the 6YO with a ‘bunny’ to follow in the race.
Grace rode a patient race and always knew his main dangers were behind him.
Distress signals went out about 600m from home for Clever Man, leaving ‘Irish’ in front with Never Again and Muntham Missile the challengers.
The race was on, but after Muntham Missile started to struggle on straightening for home, only two horses could win the race.
But the determination of both Grace and ‘Irish’ enabled the pair to win by just over one length.
A two kilogram pull in the weights and a positive positioning in the run helped gain the day.
The result not only delighted his owners, but punters also got it right supporting him to start the $2.50 favourite.
Trainer Pat Ryan has done a great job with the son of Anacheeva and now has his sights set on replicating his Jericho Cup Day victory of 2021, albeit up in grade from last year.
Potentially burdened with 63kgs in the Harry Chauvel BM64 over 2000m, the key to a start will be finding a suitable 3kg claiming apprentice.
For now, ‘Irish’ can enjoy a few days of green grass in his favourite paddock, while his owners bask in another Cup success.
They might also contemplate the fact they have a horse leading the charge as Country Cups horse for the 2022/23 season.
With a number of smaller country cups coming up across the festive season and the promise of ‘hopefully’ dryer tracks, the Cup collection may not have finished just yet.
Congratulations to his owners Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Inas Racing, PJ Gallivan, Mrs BL Skidmore, CR Kerr, Ms MG Keys, Topnotch, Mrs P Jarvis, BD Hay, C Ng, Rosso Bird, G Dargan, Ms JL Richards, MJ Campbell & GL Toll.
Article: Peter Morganti
Photo: Tracey Kruger