Croke Park (Walk In The Park) Wins On Hurdle Debut at Clonmel

Croke Park Kicks Off Impressive Double For Walk In The Park

Exciting prospect Croke Park (5g Walk In The Park - Toledana, by Protektor) completed the first leg of an impressive double for Walk In The Park at Clonmel on Thursday.

Denis Murphy’s four-year-old winner topped the Goffs UK Aintree Sale when selling to Gordon Elliott for £400,000 and has since carried the maroon colours of Gigginstown House Stud. Partnered by Jack Kennedy on his hurdle bow, the bay travelled strongly throughout the two mile maiden hurdle and was going best of the field with two flights left to jump. Soon clear, he was pushed out to lead by 11 lengths on the line.

“Croke Park jumped great,” the winning rider commented. He loved that ground and you'll probably see the best of him when he goes out in trip and over fences in time. He's a massive horse and was always going to be a winter type on big, galloping tracks. I'm delighted with him.”

Croke Park was bred by AV Bloodstock out of Toledana, who has a four-year-old by Milan and a three-year-old filly by Yeats.

Black-type performer Limerick Lace (6m Walk In The Park - Sway, by Califet) later bolted up on her seasonal return in the mares’ chase under Mark Walsh.

The Gavin Cromwell-trained mare was sent off a short-priced favourite for the two mile and two furlong contest in which she chased the leaders for much of the way. Leading from two out, she was pushed clear soon after and was eased down close home to win by 16 lengths.

Limerick Lace is owned by JP McManus, whose racing manager Frank Berry said, “She did that nicely and is a fine mare who handles those conditions really well. We're delighted with her and Gavin was pleased with her coming here.”

Bred by Mrs Noreen McManus, the daughter of Walk In The Park enjoyed a fine season last term, winning a rated novice chase and a Grade B chase, as well as placing at Listed and Grade 3 level.