Punters Drowne In Shock

Jwala trounces boys in Nunthorpe

Blaze Of Glory! Steve Drowne steers Jwala to a stunning win

Blaze Of Glory! Steve Drowne steers Jwala to a stunning win

Gallant in defeat, star SA sprinter Shea Shea had no answer to the superior pace of Jwala, who sprang a big price surprise in the Gr1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday.

Jwala gamely held off the favourite and second favourite, Shea Shea and Sole Power, by half-a-length and a nose, respectively.

Frankie Dettori had Shea Shea out of the stalls a fraction off the jump and he tracked the leaders from about three lengths off the action. Into the final 300m, Shea Shea appeared to be going well enough, but despite finishing off his race, had no answer to the shock winner.

If trainer Robert Cowell, whose second Gr1 it was after Prohibit won the 2011 King’s Stand Stakes, had not already assumed the mantle ‘sprint king’, held for the past decade by Dandy Nicholls, he has now. He deserves the title after countless Pattern race wins in the division and producing the filly to win three weeks after she fractured an eye socket leaving the stalls at Goodwood.

“It wasn’t really a huge surprise,” he said. “I’ve been telling people for two days that she had the best chance of my three because she’s so uncomplicated and has a very high cruising speed, which is what you need. We were very hopeful at Goodwood, but she ran punch drunk after hitting her head and finished last. It was touch and go whether we made it today”.

The victory was also a huge fillip for jockey Steve Drowne, who was off for a year after being wrongly diagnosed with epilepsy after fainting a couple of times in his garden.

“It’s funny how it happens,” he said. “When I was off for a long time with a broken leg I came back and Queen’s Logic turned up. Now Jwala’s turned up.

“You just need to land on one like this and you’re back up there. I’ve not been through a lot – it’s just been frustrating. I was misdiagnosed; it took five months to get a second ­opinion and five months fighting with the DVLA to get my driving licence back and you cannot ride if your ­driving licence has been revoked on medical grounds.

“I should have been out a fortnight and in this game if you miss a month you miss 30 per cent of your rides. If you miss a year you miss 100 per cent of them and have to start again. Every jockey will tell you it’s hard enough to get rides at the moment, without being off.”

(Part editorial thanks to www.telegraph.co.uk)

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