Cockney Sparrow dies

10 Dec 2014

COCKNEY SPARROW, winner of last season's Grade 2 QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle and described by John Quinn as "the best mare I've trained," has died of colic.

The five-year-old, a triple-winner on the Flat, won five of her 11 starts over hurdles and chased home My Tent Or Yours in last season's Grade 1 Stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.

"She had speed and a touch of class, which was a great combination and was a very honest, genuine mare," said Quinn.

Cockney Sparrow, who was preparing to come back into training, began showing signs of colic on Monday. Quinn explained: "She went downhill very rapidly. She died even before the vet  could get to her. It's a great shame and I feel very sorry for her owners, Paul and Joanne Gaffney, who had some great days with her and would have bred from her in due course. She would have made a lovely brood-mare."

Cockney Sparrow, originally trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam for who she won twice on the Flat, proved herself a high-class performer over hurdles with a rating of 152.  

"She was a proper Grade 2 mare. She won a Listed race at Wetherby, won at Aintree on Grand National day and produced a tremendous performance for a second-season hurdler to win the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr, where she also won for us on the Flat on Ayr Gold Cup day," said Quinn. "She was the best mare I've trained."

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