Leg Spinner toys with rivals despite slipped saddle

TONY MARTIN’S Leg Spinner toyed with his rivals on the way to landing the williamhill.ie Handicap Hurdle at Galway yesterday, writes Pat Keane.

The victory wasn’t without it’s worrying moments, however, after rider, Davy Russell, had come home with a slipped saddle.

Explained Russell: “It slipped down in the dip, I had to mind him from then on.”

Otherwise, it was plain sailing, after Russell had sat out the back for much of the journey. Leg Spinner gradually worked into the race through the final mile and was right on the heels of the leaders down hill.

He eased ahead off the bend and cantered three lengths clear to score with any amount in hand.

Said Martin: “He seems to be back to what he was a couple of years ago. There are plenty of options for him in the coming weeks.

“We’ll see how he is, but a two miles and two back here on Sunday is a possibility, or he could go for a flat race at Ascot.”

Later in the evening, however, Martin revealed that it will be a two mile and two amateur handicap hurdle back here on Friday night which will be next.

The Jessica Harrington-trained Dreamy Gent ran his rivals ragged in the William Hill In Ireland Novice Hurdle. He set off in front and held a massive lead for most of the journey. Imperial Rose had closed the gap somewhat when falling at the last, but she was never going to get on terms.

Said Harrington: “Our horse got tired, but stays well. He’s a lovely big horse and only a five-year-old, chasing will be his game. He will go for another novice hurdle next.”

Do The Trick, fresh from winning a ladies race at the Curragh, was a strong favourite for the William Hill Handicap and the bets were duly landed.

But it was oh so close, after Forthright had headed him early in the straight. Do The Trick was in front up hill and then fought back for Rory Cleary to score by a neck.

Commented Halford: “I thought our goose was cooked, he battled well. We will mix it with him and he will now go back jumping.

“He’s a big horse and could make a nice novice chaser. Maybe, some day he will come back here for the Galway Plate.”

Michael Kinane, once regarded as the proverbial genius round Galway - in his days as first jockey to Dermot Weld - rode his first winner at the Festival since 2004 when guiding Prospectorous to victory in the williamhillcasino.com Handicap.

Kinane pushed the blinkered Monashee Mountain gelding ahead before the home turn and he surged away to score by two and a half lengths.

“He will either go for another handicap or head straight over hurdles”, reported Damien Byrne, representing trainer, Joe Crowley.

Aidan O’Brien enjoyed his second winner of the week when The Ethiopian found an astonishing turn of foot to land the William Hill Irish Sports Book Maiden.

Daramas looked certain to to win when grabbing a healthy advantage early in the straight. But J P Magnier brought the Sadler’s Wells colt from the clouds to sweep past close home.

“I didn’t think I was going to get there, but he dug deep and kept going”, said Magnier.

Michael Hussey had his second winner of the week when taking the williamhillpoker.com Handicap on Marias Dream. Trained on the Curragh by John Quinn, the daughter of Desert Sun finished with a real flourish to beat Rising Force.

Said Quinn: “She was badly drawn, nothing went to plan and she still won. She is in again tomorrow, we will see.”

Dermot Weld struck for the thrid time this week when easy-to-back Princely Hero got the best of a desperate last furlong tussle with Mojito Royale in the williamhillarcade.com Maiden.

“That was a very good ride from Pat Smullen”, remarked Weld. “He’s a tough horse, who will now go for a handicap.”

David Wachman’s De La Grandera was a massive order morning prices and in the ring. He was hammered at 9-4 in the morning, but was always odds-on at the track, finding 8-11 from 9-10.

De La Grandera tried to make all, but found little or nothing once challenged by the principals.

nThe layers held €3, 834, 524, up from €3, 755, 082 last year. The Tote set a new course record for Wednessday at €1, 537, 560. The attendance, however, was down from 28,817 to 25,492.

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