Summer Star (left)
©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
Ted Walsh's Summer Star, under the trainer's daughter Katie Walsh, came from the clouds to land the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Mares Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown today, coming from an unlikely position in the race to win for the rider's father.
The daughter of Medicean had just two of 16 rivals behind her at the second last and entering the straight Norah Starr had gone well clear.
At the final flight, Norrah Starr looked a sure winner (1.03 in running on Betfair) with Summer Star back in fourth. However the winner, contesting her first handicap, produced a powerful turn of foot to sprint past the Norrah Starr close home for a length and a quarter win.
Afterwards Walsh Snr stated “she has done everything right and got a great ride! At the second last, I thought the other horse (Norrah Star) had flown but she came home well.
“She is nicely bred and is a dual bumper winner but today was the first day she jumped well.
“I ran her in Punchestown (behind Champagne Fever on heavy ground) but I shouldn't have, as it flattened her and took quite a bit out of her. She had a bit of a break after that. I could tell you today was the plan but it wasn't – I thought she might be placed but I'm delighted she won.”
Quotes from Gary Carson