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Crehan up and running on Blackpool for O'Brien

Mark Crehan and BlackpoolMark Crehan and Blackpool
© Photo Healy Racing

Jockey Mark Crehan rode his first winner for Ballydoyle on Blackpool in the Skippio Maiden over an extended mile and a-half.

The 7/2 chance tracked Realt Na Ri and led with more than six furlongs to travel. The pair went on by a good five lengths racing to the final half mile.

They had a reduced lead approaching the straight, but had saved enough for the finish as they outgunned Realt Na Ri (16/1) by a length and-three parts.

Blackpool began his career with a fourth place in Leopardstown over a mile and was then third over an extended 10-furlongs in Navan.

This gave Aidan O'Brien an across-the card treble after Port Fairy and Kyprios took the honours in the Ribblesdale and the Gold Cupat Royal Ascot today.

O'Brien supplied the even-money-favourite Ephesus for this contest, but he failed to land a blow in fourth.

Crehan (26) said: “It’s a dream come true especially to ride a winner in these silks. I can’t thank Aidan enough.

“Mam made me finish school but the plan was always to go to England to make it as a jockey over there with more opportunities.

“I was apprenticed to Richard Hannon and then moved to Newmarket and flew for George Boughey. The rides started to dry up last year and I got a little bit heavy so I came home.

“My brother is a manager for Coolmore so I go a chance to ride in Aidan’s and lost weight and here we are. I joined there last July.

“I love it there and learned loads riding with some of the best jockeys in the country.

“Blackpool is by Galileo out of Legatissimo so you can’t get much better than that. Aidan kept it simple and the horse did the rest. Once I went for him he picked up and he won well.

“My family are from Summerhill and I’m delighted there are plenty of them here this evening.”

This was his 75th career winner.

Stable representative Chris Armstrong added: “He’s a grand honest galloper. He’d a nice run for Wayne (Lordan) in Navan last time and has come on since. He’s a horse that is going to stay well and we’ll see what kind of handicap mark he gets and where he fits in.

“Mark is a very good work rider and this time of year with all the racing that’s on it gives people like Mark a chance.

“Aidan always rewards people that come in and do the hard graft. Hugh got a ride (on Ephesus) as he comes in on Sundays.”

Additional reporting by Alan Magee

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About Michael Graham
Michael has worked in horse racing journalism for more than 15 years, having also written a weekly betting column on Gaelic football and hurling for a newspaper. He is involved in writing the My Racing Story features on this website. He spent a year in South Africa completing a Diploma in Business Administration and also studied Newspaper Journalism in Belfast. He enjoys playing 5-a-side football on a regular basis.