Galway report: Haparanda sparkles in the sun for Dermot Weld

The four-year-old mastered front-runner Woodland Garden on the home turn before being driven clear to score by two and a quarter lengths
Galway report: Haparanda sparkles in the sun for Dermot Weld

Haparanda and Colin Keane win the Ardilaun Hotel Oyster Stakes at Galway. Picture: Healy Racing

The Tarnawa team of Dermot Weld, the Aga Khan, and Colin Keane captured the listed Ardilaun Hotel Oyster Stakes with Haparanda on a gloriously sunny evening in Galway.

Ridden from off the pace by the champion jockey, the four-year-old mastered front-runner Woodland Garden on the home turn before being driven clear to score by two and a quarter lengths.

“She did it very nicely and got a lovely ride from Colin,” was Weld’s summation of the victory. “She was consistent and progressive last year and had been stakes-placed this season. I was confident of winning a black-type stakes race with her and, the way she won, she’s reaching her peak coming into the autumn. Hopefully she’ll win another stakes race before the end of the season.” 

Victories for Swan Bay and Tranquil Lady, both ridden by Shane Crosse, brought Joseph O’Brien’s tally with his juveniles to 20 for the season, as part of a tremendous treble.

In the opening Irish Stallion Farms 2-Y-0 Maiden over an extended mile, Swan Bay built on the promise of his debut second at the Curragh, justifying 8-13 favouritism in convincing style.

Having disputed the lead with market rival Anchorage, Shane Crosse’s mount asserted turning for home before staying on stoutly to triumph by five lengths. 

Brendan Powell, representing O’Brien, said: “He was done for toe at the Curragh and is a real stayer. Shane had him in an ideal spot all the way and you’d have to like the way he drew clear.” 

Conceding weight to her 11 rivals in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Fillies Maiden, Tranquil Lady stepped up on her debut run at Gowran Park to record a clear-cut, three and a quarter-lengths win over Past Time.

“She did what we thought she might do first time in Gowran, when she was drawn wide, made up ground quickly,  and got tired,” Powell said. “Shane felt she was still very green and only picked-up when she got to the other filly. She quickened up well and won with her ears pricked. I’m sure Joseph will chase some black type for her.” 

Celestial Horizon defied a 10lb hike for a recent win in Navan when justifying 100-30 favouritism in the Galway Apprentice Handicap, giving champion apprentice elect Dylan Browne McMonagle his 39th win of the season.

O’Brien was denied a four-timer when stable second-string Truce was collared late by Jessica Harrington’s Pappina in the finale, the Sean Cleary Memorial Fillies Maiden.

The Sea The Stars filly was the second leg of a 71-1 double for jockey Shane Foley, initiated on Pat O’Donnell’s Dragon Of Malta in the (45-65) Galway Handicap.

Ado McGuinness and owners Dooley Thoroughbreds, who have enjoyed so much big-race success at Ballybrit in recent years, were on the mark again when Casanova, a 40th winner of the season for Chris Hayes, won the Donnellys Of Barna Rated Race.

And Denis Hogan, successful with Macgiloney on Monday, struck again when Church Mountain, a course and distance winner at the festival, landed the James P Cunningham Electrical Handicap in the hands of Joey Sheridan.

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