Ladbrokes.com Kent National Hurdle – Crayford 380mH – £2,500
DROOPYS KNACK landed a local success for trainer Jim Daly in Saturday’s Ladbrokes.com Kent National Hurdle Final as he led home two powerhouses of the jumping game in Droopys Trawler and Caislean Fifi for the £2,500 prize.
A last-minute entry in the 380m two-run Category Two event, Droopys Knack made a cracking start and soon led his rivals and was never headed as he crossed the line a length clear of Droopys Trawler in 23.65sec for owners Stephen Harvey and Phil Hawes.
Winning trainer Daly said: “It was a great run and a great night – and I’m delighted for the dog himself and Stephen and Phil. Stephen Harvey sourced ‘Paddy’ as he’s known from the Dunphys and he started his career at Swindon.
“He was then sent back to Ireland for hurdles schooling and, given he’s blessed with good early speed, Stephen considered him a suitable type for Crayford’s 380m hurdles trip and sent him to me.
“When he arrived another of our owners Phil Hawes, who’s been with us for around ten years, expressed an interest in buying a hurdler. We put the idea to Stephen and he was happy to go halves with Phil.
“He ran in the Springbok but it was all too soon probably and, in any case, he’s proved more effective at Crayford, albeit generally in H2s – but he’d won five of his eight races at that level and knows how to win!
“The Kent National was a big step up in class for him, but the H1 strength at Crayford is not as strong at the moment, so we let him take his chance, and he’s landed us our biggest success since joining Crayford.
“Now we’ve got that one in the bag, I’m keen to add to it!”
Danny Rayment, Crayford’s racing manager, congratulated connections of the well-bred April 2016 son of Rio Quattro and Droopys Twirl and said local knowledge proved a huge help for Droopys Knack .
“He’s run plenty of races here and it certainly helped him,” said Rayment. “When he flashed from the boxes you could see it was race-on for Seamus Cahill’s favourites Droopys Trawler and Caislean Fifi, although they were soon pressing.
“They’re class acts, of course. Droopys Trawler won the Kent Champion Hurdle here over 540m so was not stopping and Caislean Fifi won the Grand National. However, to be fair, Droopys Knack always looked like he had enough in the tank.
“I’m sure Jim won’t mind in me revealing Droopys Knack wasn’t even entered for the competition initially and only took his place in the starting line-up after a few messages between Jim and myself – so we can count this as a racing office victory!
“Actually it was won of those nights because we also drafted in Eskes Jewel (Dean Childs) in the 714m to complete the field!
“Overall it was a decent evening for Jim (Daly). Droopys Knack completed a hat-trick for the kennel with both Corrin Jack (380m pups) and Last Encounter (540m maiden) also successful in supporting opens.
“Jim had been bemoaning his poor strike-rate in Crayford opens recently – so those wins certainly set the record straight!”