Walk In The Park Mare Gains Second Listed Win
While buyers clamoured to secure foals by Walk In The Park at Goffs on Tuesday, his progeny justified the demand with a notable double at nearby Punchestown.
Daughters of Walk In The Park shared joint-favouritism in the feature Listed Mares Novice Hurdle, and Gerard McGrath’s homebred Jetara (5m Walk In The Park - Jelan, by Milan) justified the support in good style under Sean O’Keeffe. An impressive winner last time out, she raced in touch for most of the way on Tuesday and began to improve from three out. Leading at the final flight, she was ridden clear on the run-in and stayed on well to win by six lengths.
“She was good,” winning trainer Jessica Harrington said after the race. “She had the experience from last season, and unlike the rest of the family she seems to go on that heavy ground. She's hardy now and a lot stronger. She quickened up great.”
Harrington confirmed that Jetara had earned a return to Graded company, with a Grade 1 aim in the Spring. The progressive mare finished second in a Grade 3 on her second start over hurdles, having gained her first black-type when winning a Listed bumper the previous season.
A step up in class may also be on the cards for Spillane’s Tower (5g Walk In The Park - In The Habit, by Duke Of Marmalade), who led home a 1-2 for his sire in the card’s opening rated novice chase.
Jimmy Mangan’s charge was sent off favourite under Mark Walsh and raced in touch for much of the two mile contest on heavy ground. He improved to dispute after the second last and dug deep on the run-in to beat Firm Footings (Walk In The Park) by a head. The pair finished nine lengths clear of the third.
“He is a smart horse,” Mangan later said. “We like him a lot and he has never disappointed us on any of his races. He is an old fashioned chaser and I'm very grateful to the McManus family, who bred him, for sending him to me. He is a big horse and can only improve.”
As mentioned by the trainer, Spillane’s Tower is owned by JP McManus and was bred by Mrs Noreen McManus.