The ever reliable Grey Danube, our first runner of 2017, got the year off to a great start when registering his 8th success at Dundalk tonight. He made all in the competitive looking Ramada Resort Dundalk Handicap (7F) under an excellent ride from our new apprentice Damien Melia who was having his first ride for us. Damien was riding his 4th winner overall and I think he's excellent value for his 7lb claim. With such a talented rider its a real bonus to have 7lb taken off your horse.
This win means Grey Danube has now tied the record (8) for number of wins by a horse at Dundalk. He has been an absolute star for us over the years and in addition to a ton of ability he has a real winning attitude. Not for the first time he recorded a very good time tonight (more than a second faster than the course average). He gives his all in every race and we've found that spacing his races out is the best approach with him.
We'll probably come back to Dundalk on 17th Feb for a €24,000 handicap over 6 furlongs and then back to Dundalk for the 6 furlongs Fast Track Qualifier on 24th March. It would be fantastic to qualify him for the All Weather Championship Finals at Lingfield on Good Friday. I don't think he'd be out of place there and it would be fantastic to see him take his chance on the big stage.
We were delighted to see his breeder Eamon Connolly present on the night. Grey Danube's half sister Enchanteresse, who we sold to the US after her debut win for us, made it a family double this weekend when winning at Tampa Bay. Eamon has been doing a great job producing these horses from his mare (Redrightreturning) and it was fantastic to see him on hand to share in what we hope won't be Grey Danube's final success.
Congratulations and best of luck also to connections of the other horses with whom Grey Danube now holds the Dundalk most-winning record. It's no mean feat for any horse to register 8 wins at such a competitive venue.