Thursday’s Sunshine Coast meeting provided the first winner for former Rossvale Stud sire Irish Warrior.
His filly Amonute is a homebred for Hazel Park Thoroughbreds and she scored a runaway 8 length victory in the Pewsey Vale Maiden Plate (1300m).
Amonute (3f Irish Warrior – Pom Pom Girl by Irgun) settled in the second half of the field and then let loose under Ric McMahon to win as she pleased in the heavy conditions.
Irish Warrior (USA) was bred in Kentucky and won 7 races up to 2200m for trainer Wally Dollase. Top of the dial was a G2 victory in the 2003 Del Mar Hcp. “They got the name right for him,” jockey Alex Solis said that day. “He’s a warrior. Wally reckoned he would fire better if I went to the outside and that’s the way it worked out.”
The Irish River stallion followed up with a powerful finish, after travelling six wide, to get within two lengths of French filly Six Perfections in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita. Returning to action the following year, he was an odds-on winner of the LR Breeders’ Cup Hcp (1700m) at Turf Paradise.
Irish Warrior injured a tendon and was exported to Australia in 2005. He failed to fire for Neville McBurney in Sydney before retiring to Les Smith’s Rossvale Stud west of Toowoomba.
“I bought Irish Warrior on a whim from America but there wasn’t much support for him,” Smith recalled. “Pembroke was also standing here at the time so I sent him across to Mt Tambourine and that’s where Amonute was bred.”
Irish Warrior was subsequently transferred to stand privately in the Upper Hunter Valley but a lump on his jaw developed into cancer and he died after serving just one mare in 2011.
– Karl Patterson