Irish Colleen an inspired Karaka purchase

Prominent breeder and owner Daniel Nakhle. Photo: Race Images

Irish Colleen set the ball rolling for prominent breeder and owner Daniel Nakhle and the daughter of Shinko King keeps on giving.

She was a gifted performer with two stakes wins to her credit and has subsequently proved to be a gem of a broodmare for the Byerley Park co-founder.

All five of Irish Colleen’s foals to race have been successful and includes the Group 3 White Robe Lodge Stakes winner Killarney and three-time Group Three winner and Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes placegetter (1400m) Crosshaven.

She is also the granddam of Nakhle’s star three-year-old and Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Crocetti.

Crosshaven is part-owned by Nakhle and the Ben, Will and JD Hayes-trained son of Smart Missile posted his seventh career victory, and first since the spring of 2022, when successful over 1100m at Flemington on Saturday.

“He’s a favourite and he’s been trying very hard with things going against him time after time and it was so nice for the horse to be back in the winner’s circle,” Nakhle said.

“We’ve always had confidence in him, as has the stable, so it was great to see.”

Nakhle purchased Crosshaven’s dam out of Fayette Park’s New Zealand Bloodstock Weanling Sale draft for $8,500 and went on to win seven races, including the Group 2 Concorde Handicap (1200m) and the Listed Rotorua Stakes (1400m).

“Irish Colleen was the first horse I purchased in my own right, I thought I would try and work it out on my own and whether it’s her, her foals or grand foals, she just hasn’t let me down,” he said.

“Trevor and Stephen McKee trained her and she showed plenty from an early stage and won those two stakes races.”

Irish Colleen has crossed the Tasman twice in her breeding career to visit Smart Missile with the first resulting in six-time winner Way Above.

Crosshaven was offered at Karaka by Haunui Farm and purchased for $80,000 by Lindsay Park Racing with Nakhle remaining in the ownership group.

“Irish Colleen has been home for the last few seasons and gets very, very well looked after and her passport has been cancelled,” he said.

“I’ve got a Vadamos three-year-old out of her and he’s a slow maturing type and a gorgeous horse. He’s with Danny Walker and Aaron Tata and shows good ability.

“Danny and Aaron have also got the Brazen Beau yearling and he’s just been broken in and will probably come into work toward July 1 or thereabouts.

“She had a Proisir colt last year and he’s a belter, she puts a lot of power into her horses and he will hopefully head to the NZB Sale in January.”

Irish Colleen is currently empty and will be returning to Proisir later this year.

“She missed to him last year, we tried to get the trifecta with Irish Colleen and her daughter Gracehill (Crocetti’s dam) and Gracehill’s daughter Rionach all going to Proisir last season,” Nakhle said.

“Irish Colleen missed but the other two did get in foal so two out of three isn’t bad.”

Meanwhile, Crocetti is back in work at Byerley Park ahead of a spring campaign with the Hawke’s Bay carnival the intended starting point for the classy son of Zacinto.

“He’s going really well and Danny and Aaron certainly did the right thing by giving him two and a-half months off after his last run,” Nakhle said.

“He came back on May 14 and is a very happy horse and has strengthened up a bit.

“He looks the part and the aim at this stage will be the Tarzino Trophy (Group 1, 1400m) first-up as long as the track’s okay, if not then we’ll have a regroup and work out what Plan B is.”

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