Walk In The Park Mare Shows Her Class In Grade 2 Chase
Silent Approach (5m Walk In The Park - Kilbarry Demon, by Bob’s Return) outjumped her rivals to provide breeder and trainer Con O’Keeffe with a memorable win in Sunday’s Grade 2 Mares Novice Chase at Cork.
The daughter of Walk In The Park earned black-type over hurdles and took well to fences on her winning chase debut last month. She faced stiff competition on her first start in Graded company, with rivals including Grade 1 winner Zenta, but jockey Danny Mullins appeared confident throughout Sunday’s test. Leading from halfway, she was shaken up approaching the second last and produced fine leaps at the final two fences. Ridden out on the run-in, she ran on well to beat the short-priced favourite by three and a quarter lengths.
“She's a great jumper and is improving all the time,” Con O’Keeffe said after the race. “We have had the family for three generations and you could write what I know about training horses on a postage stamp as breeding is our game.”
Owned by Mrs O’Keeffe and Tadhg O’Sullivan, Silent Approach is a half-sister to Grade 3 winning chaser Journey With Me (Mahler). She completed a double on the card for Walk In The Park, with No Time To Wait (5g Walk In The Park - Stephanie Frances, by King’s Theatre) having earlier run out a smart winner of the maiden hurdle.
An impressive winner of a bumper last season, Gordon Elliott’s charge finished third on his hurdle bow last month and was well-supported in the market on Sunday. Racing in touch under Jack Kennedy, he led from three out and boasted a clear advantage at the final flight. Running on well on the run-in, he led by six lengths on the line.
“It was a good performance,” the winning rider said. “It was a step up from the last day so he is a nice horse. He jumped great and loved the ground.”
No Time To Wait was bought at the Derby Sale for €150,000 and carries the colours of Caldwell Construction. He was bred by MH Sport Horses out of Stephanie Frances, who has a yearling and colt foal by Crystal Ocean.