Horses for courses as Baraweez strikes again

Baraweez landed the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Ahonoora” Handicap for the second successive year as British raiders dominated the feature event on the final day of the Galway Festival yesterday.

Brian Ellison’s charge was the 7-4 favourite to repeat his Ballybrit triumph of 12 months ago, having been placed in the Topaz Mile, also for the second time, on Tuesday.

With Donnacha O’Brien keeping the ride, Baraweez was settled against the rail, before switching wide to mount his challenge rounding the home turn.

The Alistair Whillans-trained Scottish challenger Pintura, another horse with previous form at the track when previously with Kevin Ryan, set sail for home in the straight, but Baraweez reeled him in and got up by a neck.

Ellison said: “It’s horses for courses. We’ve had a hard week with him. He’d a bruised foot and was lame all week but my staff have done a great job and the vet here was also a great help.

“He only came sound this morning and if the race was yesterday he wouldn’t have run. The lad cantered him two furlongs this morning and he was fine afterwards.

“This course probably suits him because he travels well, although the ground was a bit soft for him today. He was very game, and the kid (Donnacha O’Brien) gave him a great ride.

“He’ll come back for the race he won at Leopardstown in September, and back here again next year hopefully.

Dollar And Dream meanwhile provided Tony Martin with another Galway winner in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.

Having finished third in similar events at Tipperary and Limerick in the spring, the six-year-old was the 7-2 favourite for the opening contest on the final day of the week-long Festival at Ballybrit.

Leading conditional Shane Shortall was happy to play the waiting game and Dollar And Dream remained nearer last than first jumping the second flight from the finish.

However, he began to motor before the home bend to move into contention and knuckled down well from the last to get up and beat Afatcat by three and a half lengths.

Martin said: “He needs to be ridden with confidence. Shane was very good on him – that was a Ruby Walsh or Paul Carberry job.

“That’s the track for him, going up the hill and they are coming back to him. On quicker ground they don’t come back to you.

“He’s a chaser in the making.”

Slygufftou finished powerfully to land the Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Luke Dempsey.

Michael McCullagh’s charge was turning out just nine days after opening his account under rules at the 11th attempt at Wexford and was a 16-1 shot for this more competitive heat.

The grey was never too far off the speed, but looked booked for minor honours as Harangue and Medinah Gold began to draw clear from the second last.

However, Medinah Gold was slow at the final obstacle and with Harangue beginning to tie up, Slygufftou stuck on admirably to come through and win by a length and three-quarters.

McCullagh said: “This horse has given me a hard time at home but I forgive him all now. I was saying beforehand that I should have waited for Roscommon (on Tuesday).

“I told young Dempsey to wait and wait and he did exactly as he was told.”


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