O'Brien takes feature race at Galway

O'Brien takes feature race at Galway

Rising star Joseph O'Brien bagged another big Galway winner as he finished with a wet sail on the Charlie Swan-trained Rajik to land the feature Guinness Handicap on the fifth day of the festival meeting.

The in-form O'Brien is excellent value for his 7lb claim and the son of champion trainer Aidan produced his mount to perfection down the middle of the track to readily account for Scandal Sheet and 13-8 favourite Natural High.

Rajik was going one better than in this race 12 months ago, and O'Brien - who recorded a double on Thursday - said: "I fancied him coming into the race, he finished second last year and was a little unlucky.

"He travelled well and stays well - he quickened up and won easily."

Swan also saddled Zaralabad and admitted: "I fancied Zaralabad as he was working really well, but he met a lot of trouble in running.

"When Rajik met the rising ground he flew home and he could run again over hurdles here on Sunday.

"We'll see how he comes out of this before making any decision."

Wins Now (20-1) just got up in a desperate finish to turn the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase into a family affair.

Top-weight Truckers Delight made a bold bid from two out after creeping nicely into it under John Cullen and looked to have nicked enough of an advantage off the turn.

But Niall 'Slippers' Madden was hard at work on Wins Now, with King Ali also in full flight, and in the end that pair just ran the 5-1 favourite Truckers Delight out of it.

A head was the margin of victory for Madden on the nine-year-old, trained by his father, Niall, and running in the Galway Plate-winning colours of JP McManus.

Madden senior said: "I was hoping he'd get into the Plate on Wednesday. He has been a bit disappointing, but runs well around here and was fifth in the Plate last year.

"The better ground was a help.

"We'll look for another handicap chase and may try to find something back here."

Dermot Weld recorded his 10th victory of the week as the Pat Smullen-ridden Raffaello Santi (9-4 favourite) got the better of O'Brien on Battleoftrafalgar by a head in the 12-furlong maiden.

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