Irish Songs delivers Goldman emotional National Sprint victory

Irish Songs was the winner of the 2022 National Sprint at Canberra on Sunday. Inset: Trainer Kurt Goldman and jockey Tommy Berry chat after their win with Irish Songs in the $130,000 feature. Photos: Bradley Photos.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when listening to Kurt Goldman discuss Irish Songs spectacular victory in the Listed National Sprint at Canberra on Sunday. 

The Goulburn trainer prepared the victory for the late Alan Cardy, who tragically died at the age of 76 just before Christmas following a fall at his Sydney home.

Cardy, who supported Goldman’s stable over the past seven years, played nine Tests for the Wallabies in the 1960s, and Goldman acknowledged what the win meant to him.

“You’ve caught me out here,” Goldman tearfully replied when asked what the win meant.

“I trained my first stakes winner (Faust) here at Canberra, winning the Canberra Cup for Alan when I started seven years ago, and it is quite fitting to come here today, and this might just be the last stakes race I happen to train for him.

“He has been a great mentor, friend, a father figure and everything; you name it – he would have loved this.”

In a huge win, Irish Songs sat in behind the pace for Tommy Berry, with Ashman and Mad As Zariz running the field along.

Berry found a gap for the Shamus Award gelding on the Canberra straight though – with the pair bursting to the front – Irish Songs winning the race by a half a length from the Kim Waugh-trained Ashman (Jay Ford), while the Ron Weston and John Nisbet-trained Mad As Zariz hung on gamely for third (Kayla Nisbet).

“It was a masterful ride by Tommy; he just put the horse where it had to be, and I was screaming at him to get to the outside, but he knew what he was doing,” Goldman said. 

Irish Songs was coming off a good second at Flemington, where he was beaten 3.3 lengths by Rose Quartz last month and Goldman said he was confident he had the horse to win the feature race. 

“In all honesty, I was pretty confident coming in today; he bounced back off that run at Flemington the other day unbelievably well,” Goldman said.

“That form stacked up really good. Rose Quartz came out and went up in grade and only just got beat at Flemington again and I thought it was the right form coming into today.” 

The Goulburn galloper is not deterred by a trip, having raced in town in Sydney and Melbourne before landing the $130,000 victory for connections in Canberra.

“I think both him and I like a trip away, so most programs are usually planned that way,” Goldman laughed. 

Sunday was the first day of the Canberra two-day carnival, and in another popular result, the Richard and Michael Freedman-trained Queen of the Ball won the $200,000 Black Opal Stakes for jockey Rachel King. 

The Sydney galloper was just too strong in the race for two-year-old’s, finding the front and kicking away to win from the Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace-trained Warby (Ben Allen) and the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Metallicity (Tom Berry).  

Racing continues at the two-day Canberra Carnival on Monday and readers can click here for full Canberra Cup fields, or they can click here for more information on what is happening on a big day of racing in the nation’s capital.

For Sunday’s results, click here.