A group of Derry ex-pats who banded together to purchase their very own racehorse have said they are over the moon after it romped to victory in its first major outing ‘Down Under. ‘
The champagne was flowing at Ascot Racecourse in Western Australia following the professional debut of their pedigree mare, ‘Irish Moshe.’
The win comes just weeks after the Derry squad, who are living in Perth, pitched in with some other Irish mates to become owners of promising four-years-old.
Speaking to the ‘Journal, one of the new owners, Derry man Stephen O’Neill, said they were ecstatic with ‘Irish Mosse’s’ performance and the boys are now convinced they have made the right decision.
Delivering a report on the race day, Hatmore native Stephen said: “The clan of ‘Irish Moshe’ owners and fans congregated at Ascot Racecourse in Perth.
“It was Irish Moshe’s’ Western Australia debut race and what a race it was. She shifted left and right around the 600 metres mark, not knowing where to go. But Willie Pike sat calm and cool on her, waiting to clear the bend.
“Finding the space, he opened her up, giving her a little tap on the shoulder to remind her that it’s actually a race and she had a huge fan club on the side lines cheering her on.
“She opened up alright, bypassing the leader to record a three lengths victory.”
He added: “The crowd erupted, well just the fan club and we celebrated late into the night, with everyone complaining the next day of hangovers.
“Irish Moshe was amazing and she will have a few quiet days.”
He added that trainers, Kieran McDonagh from Monaghan and his partner Jacki, will now set about investigating which race is next.
“Maybe 1,400 metres this time, who knows,” Stephen said, adding: “Until next time wish us all the best!”
Irish Moshe is full sibling of the very famous Royal Ascot Diamond Jubilee winner ‘Black Caviar,’ and prior to the maiden run, Stephen had told the ‘Journal’ recently they were hoping that their bay mare would also prove to be a flyer.
And the early signs were there, with ‘Irish Moshe’ already having had seven starts and finishing in second place on two occasions.
Stephen had bought a stake in the horse alongside fellow Derry men Davy Moore, Gary Helferty, Seamus Quigley, Sean Keogh and John Patton.
Stephen has lived in Perth for 14 years and as well as his main job working for a mining firm, he is also involved in the thoroughbred horse breeding industry there and knew a thing or two about horses.
He recently revealed how the men came to own the horse when he returned home with sister and fellow Perth resident, Christina and her family, to visit their parents Vinny and Catherine.
“A friend of mine, Kieran McDonagh bought the horse in an online auction. I said to him, I’m interested in taking a share on it. I was going to develop a syndicate of all Irish people who would take shares, but instead of me registering the syndicate, I got all my mates to buy into it.
“Irish Moshe was the name it already had.”
The new owners only signed on the dotted line before Christmas .
“Kieran will train the horse and the horse will be under his care and management,” Stephen added.
“We have shared from the minimum 2.5 per cent to 10 per cent each and whatever is not sold the trainer, Kieran and his partner Jacki , will keep the rest.”
And it looks like the Derry lads weren’t the only ones who had a lot of faith in ‘Irish Moshe’ as Kieran said he was very impressed with the horse’s progress in the lead up to her first outing. Now the boys in Perth and their families and friends back home will be hoping Irish Moshe can consolidate the win, and after a flying start with the odds in their favour.