Grand mare Crafty Irna continued her charge towards the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) in October with her easy win in the La Giaconda Stakes (1600m) at Wyong.

The daughter of Starcraft showed she had come back in the best shape of her career with her outstanding first-up second in the Listed Toy Show Quality (1300m) at Warwick Farm on August 25 before her strong victory at Wyong.

Nash Rawiller had the job of steering Crafty Irna to victory in the $100,000 event. Things didn’t go his way early after the five-year-old was caught three-wide but the champion rider managed to get Crafty Irna in one horse off the rail during the middle stages.

Rawiller asked Crafty Irna to quicken from the 500 metres. Crafty Irna took time to wind up but hit top gear at the right time to end the race as a contest with 100 metres to run before going on to notch the third win of her career by a half-length.

“I’m very happy to win. It wasn’t pretty but she got the job done,” a delighted Ron Quinton said. “She had to make up a little bit of ground on the turning track and I’m sure that she wouldn’t have been that comfortable here but anyway she got the job done and she has won some beautiful prizemoney.”

Crafty Irna finished 10th to The Verminator in last year’s Metropolitan Handicap but the mare was a vastly improved galloper in condition for her attempt to claim the 2012 edition of the Randwick event. Quinton did not hesitate to declare the talented performer would have another shot at the spring staying feature.

“She’ll go to the Kingston Town (Stakes) very likely now and then heading up to the Metrop(olitan),” Quinton said. “We ran her in it last year but physically she is a lot better now. Whether she measures up to that level remains to be seen.

“She’s worth a lot of money, out of a Group 1 winner, she’s got a lot of black type to her name already and she’s only won three races but won a stack of prizemoney.”

Congratulations to Crafty Irna's owners – Mr P P K Kearney, Mr C K L Lee, Mr T Andreacchio, Mr C E Dowsett, Mr T J Lamond, Noonan & Co Pty Ltd, Mr P J Fitzgerald, Mr P A Young, Mr J Osmond, Ms J L Brandis.

© MiStable 2012

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