Tony Martin’s Greatness arrived from the clouds to justify favouritism in the Tote Jackpot Guarantee Handicap Hurdle, initiating a double for Plate hero Shane Shortall at Galway yesterday.
Golden Ticket and Tony McCoy tried to make all and the tactics looked sure to succeed jumping the last.
At this stage Greatness was staying on in fifth, but seemed to have too much to do. But as Golden Ticket weakened, the winner got stronger and Shortall forced Greatness up close home to score by half a length.
“He clipped heels two out and was a little fortune”, reported Martin. “It is great to have Shane’s 7lbs claim, he won’t have it long (prophetic words) and will be good rider in time. This fellow is in again on Saturday, so we will see how he is on Friday.”
Cacheofgold, making a quick reappearance after finishing second behind Bashful Beauty in a maiden at Wexford on Saturday, won the Download The Tote Mobile APP EBF Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
In doing so the mare gave 18-year-old Jonathan Burke his first ever success at the festival and a first winner at the track.
Supreme Vic made a brave attempt from the front, but Burke produced Cacheofgold with impeccable timing to sweep past after the last.
Trainer, Liz Doyle, said: “We found a growth at the back of her larynx after she ran at Sligo, she couldn’t breathe. Jonathan gave her a beautiful, beautiful ride and he’s very well bred too.”
It hasn’t been a typical Dermot Weld week thus far, not withstanding he enjoyed a double yesterday, and it started badly when his well-touted newcomer to jumping, Tandem, was well beaten into third in the Tote Pick6 Guarantee Maiden Hurdle.
He appeared to be travelling smoothly enough approaching the straight, but soon began to struggle and was already beaten when erring at the final flight.
Victory went to Willie Mullins’ Most Peculiar, given an excellent drive by Paul Townend.
The winner eased into the lead at the second last and kept finding to hold the persistent challenge of Draco.
There were rumours circulating that all hadn’t been well with Tandem on the lead-in to the race and Weld explained the situation.
He said: “The horse spread a plate on the way to the races, so we took the shoe off and iced it.
“We trotted him up and down and he was one hundred per cent sound and also one hundred per cent post-race. If there had been even the slightest doubt, I would have withdrawn him.”
Weld’s Whitey O’Gwaun ran away with the Grab A Grand With Tote Maiden. He was ridden by Adrian Maguire’s 16-year-old son, Finny, enjoying a first success at the festival, on his first ride for the trainer.
The winner was lucky enough to avoid being hampered when Break My Mind ran out at the bend past the stands.
After that it was plain sailing for the grey, who scampered to a 14 lengths victory. Referring to Maguire junior, Weld said: “His father rode General Idea to win the Galway Plate for me in 1993.
“I have observed and heard about him and was very impressed with his professionalism before the race.”
The Weld double was completed when his smashing newcomer, Brooch, toyed with the opposition on her way to taking the Tote Return All Profits To Irish Racing Maiden.
Said Weld: “She is a big, backward filly who has taken time. She has a future and, hopefully, will be a Stakes filly.”
It may not have exactly gone swimmingly this week for the master of Rosewell House, but the bare facts are that he is the leading trainer with five winners to his credit.
Wayne Lordan gave Cairdiuil the full treatment in the straight to wear down the flattering Tahaf and take the Tote Trifecta Rollover Handicap.
Sean Corby rode his first winner at the festival when producing Sophie’s World to get the better of a short, sharp tussle with Spring Focus in the Bet Online At Thetote.com Handicap.
* The attendance was 18,766, up from 14,038 a year ago.
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