Irish lads lose the plot in Dubai as €600 horse wins Grade One for the Shark
They don't call him 'The Shark' for nothing.
When John Joseph Hanlon said that his horse Skyace was a "bloody certainty" in The Racing Post on Sunday morning, you'd have been wise to sit up and take note.
It's not too often, scrap that, barely ever do you hear trainers coming out with such bullish predictions but The Shark had the faith and Skyace had the wings.
For the horse's six owners, watching on from a pub in Dubai, this must have felt like the stuff of dreams. The birdinthehand syndicate gave the Kilkenny trainer €10,000 to buy them a horse last summer and Shark, with his eyes on a good one, told them he only needed €600.
That €600 has by now turned into a prize fund of over €110'000, with the miracle mare landing her biggest win to date on Sunday afternoon in Fairyhouse when streaking clear to take the Grade One Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares' Novice Hurdle. Kildare jockey Jody McGarvey looked confident from pillar to post to steer the horse to the €59,000 prize and to give Hanlon his first ever Grade One winner.
It was in an Ascot sale when Hanlon worked his magic, nabbing the horse from the Willie Mullins' yard and it was over in Dubai where the craic was this afternoon.
One of the horse's owners is Cathal McHugh, a former Roscomon footballer and All-Ireland club winning midfielder with St Brigid's in 2013. You'd imagine Sunday was the first time the euphoria of such a triumph has been matched.
6 Irish lads bought Skyace for €600 last summer.
The horse a €59'000 Grade 1 today, as the boys watched on from Dubai.
"She's a bloody certainty," said trainer John Hanlon this morning.
He's not called the Shark for nothing. Dubai, the place to be 🦈https://t.co/AaYq88IsmE
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 4, 2021
"She's as honest as the day is long and she's as tough as the day is long," said trainer Hanlon after the race.
"It's great for racing because people looking at it today can say, look I don't have to give €100'000 for a horse. €600 quid she cost."