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    Promising Dual-Purpose Recruit Stoke The Fire Gains Recognition
Promising Dual-Purpose Recruit Stoke The Fire Gains Recognition
Stoke The Fire by Healy Racing

Promising Dual-Purpose Recruit Stoke The Fire Gains Recognition

Middleham Park's Stoke The Fire appears poised for a promising hurdling season before eyeing the esteemed Irish Cesarewitch.

The five-year-old has been under the tutelage of Willie Mullins since debuting as a two-year-old, a unique Flat contender hailing from a yard renowned for its National Hunt prowess.

Initially falling short as a juvenile, Stoke The Fire's fortunes took a turn for the better post-gelding, resurfacing as a four-year-old with improved performances.

Despite not clinching victory in four outings last season, he consistently secured second place, demonstrating prowess over extended Flat distances spanning from a mile and a half to two miles.

Subsequently joining Middleham Park Racing, Stoke The Fire made an impressive leap into jumping by triumphing in a Tramore maiden hurdle on New Year's Day.

His notable 15-length victory paved the way for an entry into the Grade Three Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle at Thurles, where he finished third amongst a competitive field consisting of stablemate Largy Hill and Gordon Elliott's Staffordshire Knot, a €510,000 acquisition at the Caldwell Construction dispersal.

Facing a few stumbling blocks with his jumping technique, Stoke The Fire's connections remain optimistic that with additional experience, he can excel in hurdling before pursuing his ultimate goal of the Irish Cesarewitch on the flat.

Middleham Park's Tom Palin remarked,

"Willie noted that the other contenders in the race likely possessed extensive jumping experience from their point-to-point origins. In contrast, we have limited jumping experience, which did impact our performance. At this level, precision is crucial."

He continued,

"While Stoke The Fire requires refinement in his jumping, our primary objective is the Irish Cesarewitch, with a detour for some hurdling enjoyment. However, we may be in for more than anticipated. His victory on New Year's Day was impressive, and with further experience, he has the potential to elevate to a graded level, promising an enjoyable journey in both hurdles and flat racing. Our investment has certainly shown promise, and we are excited for the future."

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