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Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Dual Fighting Fifth winner Irving feeling right at home at Moorcroft

Irving (Harry Cobden) flattens the final flight on his way to a second win in Newcastle's Stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle. He held Apple's Jade by a nose.
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Recently retired dual Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner Irving has been found a new home at the Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre in West Sussex and is already settling in well.

A winner of eight of his 20 races over hurdles and another four on the Flat in Europe, Irving beat Apple's Jade a nose for his second win in the Newcastle Grade 1 and was beaten only by Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D'Air when bidding for a third win in the race.

However, Paul Nicholls revealed he was to be retired after he finished last of six in a seniors' handicap at Taunton last month – and that is when Moorcroft trustee Simon Holt stepped into action.

The former Channel 4 Racing commentator confirmed: "I read in the Racing Post that Irving had been retired and so put in a speculative call to both Paul Nicholls and Dan Downie, who manages owners Axom.

"We are delighted to have a horse of his quality at the centre. Although every horse is treated the same, most of the current residents are not quite so renowned. Hopefully, Irving will go on to have a very healthy and happy second career in whatever suits him."

Moorcroft has been looking out for a flagship name with a profile like Irving's for some time, and the ten-year-old seems a perfect fit.

Tim Fox, chairman of the trustees, said: "It's lovely to have such a high-profile horse here at Moorcroft, particularly for our open days and demonstrations which are attended by many horseracing followers who will recognise this horse.

"Paul Nicholls has always a been a great supporter of the charity, often donating a morning on the gallops as an auction item for our annual Plumpton raceday in October. We are very grateful both to Paul and to Dan Downie and the Axom syndicate, all of whom are most welcome to come and visit Irving at the centre."

Irving has wasted no time making himself at home at Moorcroft.

The centre's manager Mary Frances said: "Irving arrived safely on Monday morning and has settled in well. He’s a particularly lovely horse, and very good to handle and deal with.

"We did a bit of gentle long-reining with him after he arrived and, when the weather gets better, he can go out into the field before we start assessing him in various ways with regard to what retraining will be appropriate.

"The majority of the horses we have become suitable for hacking and showing as well as some low-level dressage."


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Irving arrived safely on Monday morning and has settled in well. He’s a particularly lovely horse, and very good to handle and deal with
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