Kieswetter savouring Temps triumph from afar

By Sports Desk April 15, 2024

Craig Kieswetter may have been watching at home in Cape Town, but he still roared home Il Etait Temps as he landed his second Grade One of the season at Aintree.

The former England international cricketer is now a key part of his family’s racing operations and under their Barnane-stud banner, owns the pint-sized Willie Mullins-trained grey along with partners the Hollywood Syndicate.

A top-level scorer for the first time over fences at the Dublin Racing Festival, he had to settle for third in the Arkle before showing his class up in trip at Liverpool in the Manifesto Novices’ Chase, romping to a nine-length success.

It was the six-year-old’s third Grade One success overall and the former England wicket-keeper was keen to pay tribute to the star performer of his family’s National Hunt string.

Kieswetter said: “I’m absolutely delighted and to win like that, by over nine lengths, was incredible. I’m back in Cape Town but I’m sure they would have heard me shouting him home.

“It was fantastic to have my old man over there at Aintree along with Ross Doyle and Peter Wynn Jone. They flew over in the morning to watch the race and it was a great trip over for them.

“All Grade Ones are big races and that takes our tally up to three now and it could have been more. He’s come up against some proper horses, which you do in Grade Ones, and he’s small but mighty.

“He’s got a huge heart that is probably triple times the size he is physically, but he certainly gives it his all every time and he’s a fantastic horse to be part of.”

Despite tasting success at Royal Ascot, the Punchestown Festival and now Aintree’s Grand National Festival, Kieswetter and the Barnane team are still searching for an elusive first success at the Cheltenham Festival.

Il Etait Temps has visited Prestbury Park for the showpiece meeting on three occasions, with this year’s Arkle third the best of his trio of efforts, and the 36-year-old hopes with experience, the gelding can continue to ply his trade on the biggest days.

Kieswetter continued: “The ground probably suited him and Aintree being flatter probably helped – he runs well at Leopardstown which we know. Hopefully with a bit more experience he can go back to Cheltenham and challenge again.

“He has an option at Punchestown and I’m not sure if Willie will run him or not, but if he does run I’ll definitely be there.

“To have horses like these is what sport and this industry is about, it’s about having dreams and when you get one you can jump along and have a good time with, it makes it all worthwhile.

“We’re delighted for Willie and his team and of course we have to congratulate our partners. As always we have to thank Peter, Ross and Anna Doyle who play such a huge part in the team at Barnane and it’s always fantastic to have them involved.”

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