‘Our Girl Sal­ley’ go­ing for Chel­tenham glory

Bray People - - SPORT -

A WICK­LOW bred race­horse looks as if she will be one of the big­gest ob­sta­cles to Wil­lie Mullins pulling off a Chel­tenham hat-trick next week.

The Mullins trained Quevega is the hottest of favourites to win the David Ni­chol­son's Mares hur­dle next Tues­day but Co. Wick­low based Prunella Dobbs is set to do battle with Mullins with her own sta­ble star Our Girl Sal­ley.

Our Girl Sal­ley, a six--year-old mare, was bred by John Sal­ley Roscath, Wick­low, and is now owned by Anne and Jim O'Neill, Wick­low town.

Quevega has won both re­newals of the David Ni­chol­son race to-date by a wide mar­gin, but book­mak­ers see 'Our Girl Sal­ley', which is Prunella Dobb's sole en­try in the four-day Chel­tenham fes­ti­val, as one of the big­gest dan­gers to Wil­lie Mullins' hopes of pulling off a hat­trick.

The six-year-old Wick­low mare has won its last five races in some style, of­ten leav­ing a lot of fresh air be­tween her and her near­est chal­lengers, and her last three suc­cesses were with Barry Geraghty on board.

And now Prunella Dobbs from Sheep­hill, Wick­low, is hop­ing that Barry Geraghty will choose 'Our Girl Sal­ley' as his mount in the mares race next Tues­day and hope­fully give her the big­gest suc­cess to­date of her ten-year ca­reer as a trainer.

Con­fi­dence in the Wick­low camp is high that Our Girl Sal­ley can achieve the un­ex­pected at Chel­tenham.

She has a large and grow­ing fol­low­ing amongst horsey peo­ple in East Wick­low, many of whom are head­ing to Chel­tenham next week along with breeder John Sal­ley and own­ers Anne and Jim O'Neill.

Thus far Our Girl Sal­ley has topped €70,000 in win­nings as in ten races run she has clocked up six wins, two sec­onds, a fourth and ninth po­si­tion.

John Sal­ley has also bred an­other horse which is also rac­ing at Chel­tenham on open­ing day next Tues­day.

Bet-a-Bob' a seven-year-old geld­ing, will be run­ning in the Chase, the last race of the day. John Sal­ley sold the geld­ing as a foal to an English pur­chaser.

Prunella Dobbs, who has just ten horses in her yard, says: ' Ten is a lovely num­ber, that's enough to keep us on our toes'

'I al­ways be­lieved that train­ing race horses is some­thing you can only do if you're pre­pared to do it prop­erly'

Our Girl Sal­ley has trans­ferred her skills to hur­dling af­ter hav­ing cre­ated seis­mic waves on the Ir­ish bumper scene, and she is un­beaten in her last three starts.

‘We will prob­a­bly run in the mare's race even though the op­po­si­tion will be fierce. Quevega has won two years in a row and you couldn't not fancy her. But no horse is in­vin­ci­ble,’ Dobbs said.

De­cid­ing not to race her in the run=up to Chel­tenham, Prunella said: 'It was al­ways the idea to keep her fresh for the Fes­ti­val and hope­fully we will have her in su­per form on the day'.

While her fa­ther David owned a hand­ful of smart horses, Prunella has carved out her own niche in the rac­ing world. She worked for the Bri­tish Blood­stock Agency for four years be­fore learn­ing her trade with Amer­i­can Hall of Famer El­liott Burch, who died ear­lier this year.

Our Girl Sal­ley, with Barry Geraghty on board, leads the field over the last on the way to win­ning The I.T.B.A Fil­lies Scheme Euro­pean Breed­ers Fund Mares Hur­dle at the Leop­ard­stown Christ­mas Rac­ing Fes­ti­val.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.