Galway's Cheltenham Experience
Galway Advertiser - 2010-03-25
The Docado syndicate, including well-known Galway businesspeople Eamon Doyle and Kitty Carr of the Park House Hotel, who own Go Native, are among the luckiest owners in horse racing, writes Peter Timmins.
Go Native is the first horse bought by the syndicate, and, at only seven years old, has already won some of the most prestigious prizes in NH racing.
The seven-year-old’s victories in the Fighting Fifth and Christmas Hurdles this season had set up him for the final leg of the WBX Hurdling Triple Crown at Cheltenham last Tuesday, where success would have guaranteed a £1m sterling bonus for the winning connections.
Go Native had won the 2m Novice Hurdle on the card on the corresponding day the previous season, and was a very well backed favourite to take the crown and the bonus for his Galway based owners. His work rider had described his last piece of work prior to the race as like driving a Ferrari. Confidence was high for all supporters of the horse.
With the whole city and county watching, and cheering on the local favourite, the race got under way at 3.20. By 3.21, the dream was over, for another year at least. Jockey Paul Carberry was aware that something had happened before the second flight, when the horse had dived slightly, which would make it impossible for him to give his true running. Unaware that something had happened, from the stands, and from in front of their television screens, supporters hoped that Go Native's position at the back of the field was a typical Carberry 'confidence' ride. When the horse made up some ground at the top of the hill, hopes were briefly ignited that a storming finish could herald a result similar to 2009. But Go Native never got into contention, and trailed in behind the winner Binocular.
It was a bitter disappointment for all concerned, but a reminder of the truism that in racing, anything can happen. Connections of the horse took this defeat with good grace, and their primary concern in the immediate aftermath was the well-being of Go Native, and that no serious harm had come to the horse. When I caught up with Kitty this week she confirmed that the horse indeed had suffered some ligament damage, and the results of a further scan are awaited. She was also keen to acknowledge that the horse had given them some wonderful days out, and was certainly young enough to do so again. And so say all of us.
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