When John O’Shea was trying to rebuild his stable after leaving Godolphin a couple of years ago, good friend Ron Finemore was there to support him and buy the horse that would become Kirwan’s Lane.
Four years on, Kirwan’s Lane repaid Finemore’s faith in O’Shea with a dominant win in the group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup.
I think he was one of the first horses we bought when I was back, O’Shea said. Ron is not only a good owner but a good friend who has supported me right through everything.
I would talk to him a couple of times a day, and not just about racing but all things.
When I was starting out again, Ron just said let’s go to New Zealand and find a good horse.
This was one of the ones we came home with, and he has always shown that he could do something like this race.
I’m really happy for Ron to win the big race on a nice day, because up until now we have had a character-building day.
Tommy Sherry scored his third win on Kirwan’s Lane by box-seating in the one-one before presenting at the top of straight but admitted he thought he had gone too soon. But Kirwan’s Lane ($7) held tough to win by a length from Hopeful ($21) and Atishu ($19).
He jumped really well out of the barrier to get that spot, and he travelled well, Sherry said. At the top of the straight I was just thinking it was only a matter of time before he let down.
I probably hit the front too soon and he didn’t want to go on with it, but he responsed to pressure and it was a tough win.
O’Shea will head to the Scone Cup with Kirwan’s Lane hoping to get a spot in the Big Dance – the new $2 million race on Melbourne Cup day at Randwick – and feels there is a little left in the tank.
I don’t think he is overly comfortable in that real heavy ground, but he was good enough to get through it, O’Shea said. He has a great record second-up, loves the mile and loves Tom Sherry.
We are going to Scone, and hopefully he can run one-two and get into the Big Dance. We will have Berdibek there and he will be better for the outing because he didn’t have much luck there today.
Meanwhile, Norwegian Bliss stretched her unbeaten record to six at Hawkesbury and is likely to step up to stakes grade in the Dark Jewel Classic at Scone.
That is the target for her, but we will see how she pulls up before making that decision, Gerry Harvey’s racing manager, Luke McDonald, said. She is a smart mare.
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