Swamp Fox takes control in Galway feature

Swamp Fox takes control in Galway feature

Swamp Fox overcame a difficult wide draw to win the Connacht Hotel Handicap, the feature race on day one of the Galway Festival.

Trained by Joe Murphy and ridden by a delighted Barry Browne, the four-year-old gelding had previously struck at Ballinrobe just a week ago yet was at the foot of the weights for this ultra-competitive contest.

Swamp Fox had to break from stall 18, but Browne did a superb job to muscle his way into contention and was good value for his two-and-a-quarter-length defeat of big eyecatcher Ted Veale, who could also run in the Galway Hurdle later in the week.

Jocular made plenty of the running in the extended two-mile contest for qualified riders before he was overtaken by Asbury Boss with about a mile to go.

Katie Walsh's partner still held a narrow advantage heading into the final three furlongs, but Benkei then took control.

His challenge from the front was short-lived, though, as Swamp Fox (16-1) gained the lead at the top of the straight and never looked back.

Benkei ended up finishing an honourable third, while Renneti was fourth.

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