Ruby Walsh delighted his supporters in Sligo when doubling-up on favourites Ted Veale and Ben Button.
The multiple champion acknowledged: “It’s down to the trainer’s judgement, not mine,” after the Tony Martin-trained ten-year-old Ted Veale registered his first success since September 2015 in the SF Engineering Consulting Hurdle.
Walsh committed the 10/11 favourite after jumping the second last and John Breslin’s gelding stayed on to hold The Game Changer by a length and a quarter.
The winning rider explained: “He had a great run in Galway, his first in a year, and built on it. Tony thought the track would suit him and told me not to hang around on him. He was dead right – stamina probably won it.”
Ben Button, a wide-margin winner at Galway (three miles) on Sunday, provided Walsh with the second leg of his double when, 10lb. ‘well-in’, he justified 2/5 favouritism in the two-and-a-half mile Boylesports Handicap Hurdle.
Willie Mullins’ charge jumped to the front at the last and kept going to beat Lasoscar by a length.
Walsh commented: “On the book, it should have been a bit easier, but we can’t complain. He was the one horse that revelled in the ground in Galway.
“Today, the stiffness of the track helped him over the shorter trip, but he needed to jump the last couple as well as he did.”
Davy Russell provided Gigginstown with a second winner at the two-day meeting when Hardback, trained by Joseph O’Brien, proved a shock winner of the Clayton Hotel Maiden Hurdle.
Owner J P McManus, successful with Don’t Kick Nor Bite on Wednesday, was on the mark twice last night, with the Mags Mullins-trained Dundrum Lad (Jody McGarvey) in the Harrington Concrete And Quarries Handicap Hurdle and Enda Bolger’s Market’s Field (Donie McInerney) which followed-up a recent chase win in Wexford in the Bourbon Bar Handicap Hurdle.
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