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Former England Cricketer Craig Kieswetter Dreams of Ascot Gold Cup Triumph
Craig Kieswetter, the former England international cricketer, has set his sights on the prestigious Ascot Gold Cup trophy. As a leading figure in Barnane Stud and with an impressive record in dual-purpose racing, Kieswetter now hopes to reach new heights as Echoes In Rain lines up for Thursday’s main event.
From Cricketing World Champion to Flat Racing Contender
Kieswetter was named man of the match in the T20 World Cup Final when England secured their first cricketing world title back in 2010. Since retiring from cricket at just 27 years old, he has gone on to excel in horse racing and is now poised for his biggest success yet.
The mare Echoes In Rain has won nine times over her career, including two Grade One victories – most recently at Punchestown Festival where she dominated with a nine-and-a-half-length triumph. Despite facing tough competition from Honeysuckle throughout her career, Echoes In Rain remains one of the greatest horses that Kieswetter has ever owned and trained.
A Frustrating Journey So Far
Kieswetter admits that it hasn’t always been easy owning such a talented horse who often comes up against stiff competition:
“As grateful as we are for the great times and journey she has taken us on so far, it’s been frustrating because she’s come up against Honeysuckle.”
This year’s Royal Ascot presents another opportunity for this incredible mare to shine. Trained by Willie Mullins, Echoes In Rain is one of the favourites to take home the Ascot Gold Cup.
Mullins’ Chance at Making History
Willie Mullins, Echoes In Rain’s trainer, has his own chance at making history by becoming the first man to win both Cheltenham and Ascot versions of the Gold Cup in the same year. Vincent O’Brien is currently the only person to have won both races but not in the same calendar year – highlighting just how remarkable Mullin’s achievement would be if he manages it.
“He’s a genius and he knows what his plan is. He is hungry to give the race a good crack and is sending a good team of horses for this week.”
Kieswetter recognises that Mullins’ expertise will play an essential role in achieving victory:
“After chatting with Willie, he did mention some other flat races throughout the season, but I think he must be quite chuffed with her after her last performance.”
A Family Operation Ready For The Next Level
Barnane Stud broke their duck at Royal Ascot when Candleford stormed to success under William Haggas’ guidance twelve months ago; since then, Craig Kieswetter’s family operation has been determinedly preparing for their next challenge during one of racing’s biggest weeks.
The close-knit family operation now hopes that they can make their mark on Flat racing as well as National Hunt horse racing. With Echoes In Rain leading their charge towards glory at Ascot, there are high expectations all around.