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Stubby’s success sparks fond memories for Irene

The recent RN Irwin Stakes performance of Goodwood favourite Gytrash at Morphettville sparked plenty of praise for the star sprinter, but one SA racing fan was more interested in the winning jockey.

Irene Thomas part-owned Scorn Bold, who won the 1100m race in 1996 and 1997, and noted that Jason Holder was aboard during the horse’s first triumph.

“When I saw Jason Holder won it with Gytrash I thought, ‘Oh my golly, I think that was our jockey’,” Irene said.

“So I looked it up and I was right.

“Jason’s 44 now and that win on Scorn Bold was 24 years ago – I think that’s remarkable.

“But he’s riding so well at the moment.”

Irene’s late husband Ian – a former chief racing writer for The Advertiser – trained Scorn Bold to his Irwin Stakes successes and the race still holds a special place in Irene’s heart.

“I’m dying to get back to the races and I would have loved to watch the RN Irwin stakes the other day – I would’ve gone to the races if we were able to,” he said.

“We’ve got fond memories of Irwin Stakes day, especially when he won it the second year, as an eight-year-old.

“He’s still the only eight-year-old to have won it, and the only horse to have won it consecutively.”

Keen-eyed Irene also noted that Gytrash’s winning time of 1:04.31 for the 1100m trip was extremely close to Scorn Bold’s 1996 time of 1:04.29.

Irene’s husband had retired from his journalism job when he became a hobby trainer. She said Ian had just three horses when he was training Scorn Bold, who had other trainers previously.

Dwayne Dunne rode Scorn Bold to his second Irwin Stakes victory, while the horse also ran in two Goodwood Handicaps, finishing third and 11th respectively.

“He did well for the age he was when we got him,” she said. “We had a lot of fun with him.”

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