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Ebor Festival: Jwala banishes Steve Drowne's sorrow
9:35am Saturday 24th August 2013 in Sport
MONTHS of frustration evaporated in less than a minute for jockey Steve Drowne as 40-1 shot Jwala shocked the packed York Racecourse stands when winning the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, writes Jack Keene.
Drowne was mis-diagnosed as having a heart condition last year, which led to him losing his driving licence and saw his contacts – and his rides – disappearing.
Forced to sit out, unable to get in the saddle, as he sought a second opinion, Drowne declared himself “lucky” to be back among the top class winners on board Jwala.
Always up with the pace, the four-year-old travelled into the closing stages of the five-furlong dash with real purpose though she looked vulnerable to a group of horses behind her.
When she kicked for home at the furlong marker, though, she instantly accelerated and was always holding the late challenge of Frankie Dettori aboard 3-1 favourite Shea Shea.
“I thought she’d win last time at Goodwood but she got upset in the stalls and fractured an eye socket,” Drowne revealed.
“She’s some brave, tough filly to come back like that. She ran well when she won her Listed race here, she’s got a lot of speed.”
On the frustrations that have dogged him, he added: “I spent five months trying to get a second opinion on my mis-diagnosis and then a further five months waiting for the DVLA (to grant his driving licence).
“It was just so frustrating. What I had should have kept me out for a fortnight, but I had to do so many tests to prove I was fine. I’m glad I’m back. I ended up losing most of my rides, I’m very lucky though that this filly came along.”
Jwala’s shock win might have surprised York punters but Newmarket trainer Robert Cowell, who has an affinity with producing quality sprinters, wasn’t one of them.
He added: “I was saying on TV and radio that she probably had the best chance of my lot. She’s uncomplicated, she’s got a huge turn of foot and a really high cruising speed, those are the key ingredients you need for a high class sprinter.”
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