Irish Jewel and Nacho Man Take First Look at Ellerslie

Friday 22 January 2010, 8:29AM

By New Zealand Bloodstock



Thanks to the Auckland Racing Club, the Ellerslie track was made available
to all Karaka Million entrants this morning and the connections of Irish
Jewel and Nacho Man both took up the opportunity to give their runners
their first look at the home of New Zealand's richest juvenile race.

[picture: NMan and Irish Jewel first look]
Nacho Man (outside) and Irish Jewel (inside) get their first look at the
Ellerslie track

All photos courtesy of NZB Marketing Executive Haylie Martin
Trained by Andrew Scott at Wexford Stables, Irish Jewel (Street Cry x Lowan
Behold, by Umatilla) currently sits tenth in the Karaka Million order of
entry with $9,375 in prize-money, a position which assures the filly a
start in the $1,000,000 race.

Irish Jewel is owned by Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan, along with Sir Michael
Fay who was on-course to see his filly gallop this morning. By leading
international sire Street Cry, Irish Jewel is a quality type who fetched
$125,000 from the 2009 Karaka Select Sale draft of Twin Pines.

The Mike and Paul Moroney trained Nacho Man (Mr Nancho x El Coriero, by The
Jogger) is in position 15 with $6,250 and would currently make the 14 horse
field with the defection of Encosta Diablo (Encosta De Lago).

Nacho Man, like Irish Jewel, carries the Twin Pines brand and, testament to
his powerful type, is the fact that he brought $27,000 at the 2009 Festival
Sale to the bid of Tom and Shelley Murtagh of Esker Lodge. The Murtaghs now
share the ownership with Singapore trainer Michael Clements, Chris Grace
(Hamilton), and Paul Pang.

Galloping together, Irish Jewel (Lance O'Sullivan) on the rail and Nacho
Man (Craig Grylls) on her outside, the pair pleased onlookers when hitting
the line together in a strong gallop with the rail out 9 metres.

[picture: IJewel and Nman in action]
Irish Jewel (inside) and Nacho Man (outside) in action in the Ellerslie

Upon their return to the birdcage both O'Sullivan and Grylls were extremely
happy with their respective charges. For Nacho Man connections it was now a
nervous wait and see if their gelding could maintain his place in the KM
field over the next three days.

Dangers to the strapping brown son of Mr Nancho include Kylemore Abbey (One
Cool Cat x Blackrock College, by Volksraad) who, with a win today in the
Taranaki, would take Nacho Man's place in the field with $6,350 in

A favourable result for Nacho Man today would then see connections focussed
on the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Trentham on Saturday.
Although in the field, Paul Moroney has confirmed that Nacho Man will not
start, which leaves five Karaka Million eligible runners in the $85,000

This is where the mathematics begin, remembering that leading non-KM
juveniles Cellarmaster (Dubawi) and Jimmy Choux (Thorn Park) also take
their place in the 14 horse field at Trentham.

[picture: Both returning]
Irish Jewel (outside) and Nacho Man (inside) return to the birdcage after a
pleasing gallop

Peter Hurdle's Aladdin Prince (Volksraad) looks to have already guaranteed
a start with $8,000 in prize-money which puts him ahead of Nacho Man in the
order of entry.

Murray and Bjorn Baker's Shekels (Volksraad x Dosh) and Mark Walker's
Likeapins (Pins x Lisa Kay) have $3,850 and $3,450 in the bank respectively
and both would need to at least run fourth ($4,000) on Saturday to
leap-frog Nacho Man for a position in the Karaka Million.

Dick and Chris Bothwell's Blinding (Black Minnaloushe x Dazzling Walk) and
Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen's Vital Choice (Stratum x Queens Move) make up
the remainder of the KM nominated juveniles and both would need to run at
least third ($8,000) in the Group 2 feature to put themselves in the Karaka

[picture: IJewel returns]
Former NZ champion jockey Lance O'Sullivan will be hoping that Irish Jewel
can salute the judge in the $1,000,000 Karaka Million.

After this morning's gallop both Irish Jewel and Nancho Man look primed for
a start in the third running of the $1,000,000 Karaka Million
which is set to jump at 7.23pm at Ellerslie (31 January) on the eve of the
Karaka National Yearling Sales Series (1- 8 February).

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