THERE’s no doubt that the story of the week has to be the four-timer recorded, in his absence, at Ayr on Tuesday by Larne trainer Stuart Crawford who had never had a treble since taking out his licence.
The first three winners – Largy Shark (10/1), Carnfunnock (1/5) and Gold Cup Bailly (100/30) – ran in the double green colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, whose retained jockey Daryl Jacob was in the saddle, while the four-timer was completed in the concluding Virgin Bet conditional and amateurs’ bumper by the Stephen Connor-partnered Largy Valley (9/2).
That 7lb claimer had also been in the saddle when Raymond Scullion and Martin McGrogan’s Mount Nelson bay had pulled up on his only previous start which was in the four-year-old geldings’ maiden won by Ballyburn at Loughanmore in October. Largy Shark never ran in a point-to-point but did hold a hunters’ certificate last season when owned by Scullion and McGrogan.
The five-year-old Califet gelding was making his jumping debut on Tuesday following three runs in bumpers, one when ridden by Jacob at Ayr in April.
Although foaled in Britain, the bay was bred by Alfred Buller out of the Zaffaran mare Lady Of Scarvagh who won twice over hurdles and twice over fences and comes from the family of Dorans Pride.
Largy Shark, who was her sixth foal and first winner on the track, was followed by a 2019 Lauro filly.
Carnfunnock was also making his first public appearance over hurdles on Tuesday and this highly-regarded Getaway gelding was partnered by Ben Crawford when winning his second bumper, on his fifth start, at Down Royal early last month.
The French-bred Gold Cup Bailly had also been ridden by Ben when winning a four-year-old geldings’ maiden on his debut at Tattersalls back in December 2020.
With a well-drilled team looking after his Ayr runners on Tuesday, Stuart Crawford chose to pop down to Punchestown where he saddled three long shots.
The best result for the Newlands Farm trainer came in the Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle where jockey Sam Ewing could only finish a well-beaten second on the Munir and Souede-owned Bleu D’Enfer (80/1).