Dawalan clinches title in Colonial Cup romp
Dawalan and Rawnaq provided owner Irv Naylor and trainer Cyril Murphy with a one-two finish in Saturday's $100,000 Colonial Cup (G1) at the Springdale Racecourse near Camden, South Carolina.
The 5 1/4-length win by Dawalan not only made him the season's leading-earning steeplechaser, but also likely clinched an Eclipse Award as the best jumper of 2015.
Dawalan finished third in his U.S. debut in the September 24 Lonesome Glory (G1), 1 1/2 lengths behind Bob Le Beau. The five-year-old son of Azamour rebounded to take the Grand National (G1) at Far Hills, New Jersey, by a length on October 17.
The Colonial Cup was billed as a championship showdown between Bob Le Beau, who also landed the New York Turf Writers Cup (G1) in August, and Dawalan. The latter won that battle after finishing 2 3/4 miles over good ground in 5:11.80 under Ross Geraghty.
Rawnaq, a solid third in the Grand National in his U.S. debut, finished a neck ahead of 2014 champion Demonstrative. Bob Le Beau finished fifth.