Bobby Zen

Frances Crowley has ruled out a full scale return to the training ranks and described sending out her first runner in 16 years at Leopardstown on Friday as “just a bit of fun” with the ultimate goal being to provide her daughter Hannah with a breakthrough victory in the saddle. 

Wife of the late Pat Smullen, a nine-time champion jockey in Ireland, Crowley created history in 2005 when she became the first woman to win a Classic race in Ireland with Saoire storming to a memorable triumph in the 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Crowley will be represented by the ex-Aidan O’Brien-trained The Black Tiger, snapped up for 17,000gns at the sales last year, in a lady riders’ handicap at Leopardstown on Friday. 

She explained, “To be honest, this is something that has been completely driven by the kids [Hannah, Paddy and Sarah]. They wanted to do it. We’ll see how it goes–it’s just a bit of fun.”

Asked if she had any designs on returning to training beyond that, Crowley replied, “No–one hundred per cent not. This is not a return. The kids wanted to experience running something off the farm and Hannah really wants to try and ride a winner. We bought the horse at Tattersalls last year and Aidan said he is a nice, kind horse who would be a good ride for Hannah. He recommended him for the job and said he had a good temperament so that’s how we ended up with him.”

All five of Hannah Smullen’s rides have come for trainer Gordon Elliott. Smullen rode Yorkshire Escape and Silver Lark in five bumpers in total. Like The Young Tiger, both of those horses carried the colours of the family’s Brickfield Stud. 

Crowley concluded, “Hannah got a lot of experience last year. She is studying hard in college and is literally just finished her exams so it’s a big ask for her to go and ride straight away but we’ve nobody to answer to only ourselves. She’ll definitely need the run and so will the horse. She’d just love to ride a winner at some point. She’s really looking forward to it and Paddy is looking forward to leading her up.”


The post “Just A Bit Of Fun” – Frances Crowley To Send Out First Runner For 16 Years On Friday appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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