Bargain of the century? £600 mare bids for more Grade 1 glory at Punchestown

Skyace Shark Hanlon

Everybody loves a real ‘rags to riches’ story and this one has to be right up there with the best. We have witnessed some incredible bargain buys like Brave Inca who was picked up for pennies in relative terms.

Shark Hanlon has found himself training arguably the bargain of this century. He is hopeful that bargain-buy Skyace continues on an upward trajectory in what has been a remarkable rise up the ranks.

She will probably run at the Punchestown Festival where she has an entry for the Grade 1 Coolmore Kew Gardens Irish European Breeders’ Fund Mares Champion Hurdle.

This is a race that has been won by the likes of Annie Power, Benie Des Dieux and Apple’s Jade.

Bought out of Willie Mullins’ yard for a mere £600, one would think that she must be stone useless. Well, Willie got it wrong this time. She provided Shark Hanlon with his first Grade 1 at Fairyhouse last time out, beating Gauloise.

The Grade 1 at Punchestown will be a different ball game and she will need another step forward. She will be taking on proper smart horses like Concertista and Telmesomethinggirl, but they have absolutely nothing to lose now.

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Trainer Quotes

“She’s definitely going to Punchestown for the mares’ race (the Coolmore Kew Gardens Irish EBF Mares’ Champion Hurdle, on May 1),” said Hanlon.

“She came home out of Fairyhouse and didn’t know she had a race.

“We’re going out of novice company, but we have to give her a chance in it.

“I know we have to find 10 or 12lb with a good few of these, but she’s a young improving mare and we’re hoping she will stay improving.”

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