As Galway finishes for another year, we look back on another great week of very competitive action and a festival that has boasted something for everyone with a mix of flat and jumps action every day
Mondays opening race a 2mile Novice Hurdle went to Le Richebourg the 4/9 favorite winning very easily for trainer Joseph O’Brien and giving Barry Geraghty a winner first ride back after breaking his arm in a fall at Easter, the feature on the card the Q.R Handicap went to Whiskey Sour at 16/1 for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Aubrey McMahon, staying on strongly to beat the favorite last year’s winner Swamp Fox, the last race on the card that went way Poet Power at 6/1 winning very easily for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Patrick Mullins.
The first race on Tuesdays card went to HousesOfParliment at 11/4 again for trainer Joseph O’Brien and jockey Barry Geraghty and looks a horse to follow, there where great scenes as Cascavelle at 9/1 landed the Caufield Maiden under jockey Billy Lee for trainer Robbie McNamara his first festival winner as a trainer, left wheelchair bound since a horrendous fall at Wexford more than two years ago, great to see him doing so well, the feature race on the card the 1mile Colm Quinn BMW Handicap went to Riven Light, the well backed 7/2 favorite for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Declan McDonough, on the Wednesday the Qualified Riders 1mile 4Furlong Handicap went to Exchange Rate at 7/2,for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Patrick Mullins, the feature of Wednesdays card the Galway Plate over 2Mile 6Furlongs went to Balko Des Flos at 6/1 winning very easily for trainer Henry De Bromhead and jockey Davy Russell, this six-year-old looks to have a very big future and will be aimed high by the Gigginstown team, the 1Mile Maiden on the card went to Perfect Soldier at 5/1 for trainer Michael O’Callaghan and jockey 7lb claimer SP Davis,sparking great scenes among the owners of the horse, members of the Michael O’Callaghan racing club.
Thursdays first race on the card the 2mile 6Furlong Beginners Chase went to Tesseract at 7/1 for trainer Joseph O’Brien and jockey 3lb claimer JJ Slevin,the 2mile 2Furlong Novice Chase went to Ratvinden at 7/2 for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend,a horse making up for lost time due to injury, the 7Furlong Fillies Listed Stakes went to Music Box at 4/1 for trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Donnacha O’Brien,the feature on the card the 2mile Galway Hurdle went to Tigris River at 5/1 for trainer Joseph O’Brien and jockey Barry Geraghty, the jockeys first time winning this race, just reeling in the ultra-tough Swamp Fox having his second start of the week, Joseph O’Brien looks young enough to still be in school, yet he is turning out winners at the highest level, he could go on to be one of the best trainers ever, it’s easy to see why JP McManus has so many horses in training with him, Fridays first race a 2mile Handicap Hurdle went to Top OThe Ra at 10/1 for trainer Tom Mullins jockey, son David and owned by the trainers wife a real family success, the 7Furlong 2yo Maiden went to Warm The Voice the 2/1 favourite for jockey Kevin Manning and the very likeable trainer Brendan Duke, the trainer is very sweet on the horse and again looks one to follow, the Galway Blazers 2Mile 6Furlong Handicap Chase went to Rivera Sun at 16/1 for trainer Henry De Bromhead and jockey Barry Geraghty not many times you’ll see the jockey ride a 16/1 winner, the Guinness 1Mile 4Furlong Handicap went to the heavily backed Whiskey Sour for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Declan McDonough staying on strongly to take his second race of the week,a great training performance.
The first race on Saturday went to Aydoun at 13/2 for jockey Bryan Cooper and trainer Dermot Weld giving the trainer his first winner of the festival, a virus in the yard being put down as the reason the trainer is having a poor season by his standards, the Galway Shopping Centre Handicap over 2Mile 6Furlong Handicap hurdle went to Ballyegan Hero at 16/1 for trainer John J Walsh and jockey Rachel Blackmore, just holding on by a nose from the fast finishing Mine Now, the 1Mile Maiden went to Amedeo Modigliani the 2/9 favorite for trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Seamus Heffernan, how good this easy winner is only time will tell, the 2yo 7Furlong Nursery went to Deep Breath at 3/1 for trainer Joseph G Murphy and jockey Pat Smullen,the trainer rates the horse and another to keep an eye on,Sunday,the final day of the festival, the 3Mile Handicap Hurdle went to Ben Button at 11/4 favorite winning easily for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh, the 7Furlong Maiden went to Yulong Gold Fairy at 5/1 for jockey Leigh Roache and trainer Dermot Weld, hopefully the stable will have a strong end to the season, the Ahonoora 7Furlong Handicap went to Dream Walker at 7/1 for the second year in a row for trainer Brian Ellison and jockey Chris Hayes, the trainer also saddled the first three home a great achievement, the favorite Riven Light quickly turned out after his win four days earlier got no luck in running, but that’s racing, the 4:30 the AtTheRaces 2Mile 6Furlong Chase went to Arbre De Vie at 9/4 for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend,the favourite Shaneshill threw his chance away with some jumping mistakes, the 2Mile 2Furlong Handicap Chase went to NeverRushACon at 12/1 winning very easily for trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey Ryan Treacy,the final race on the card the Father Breen Memorial 2Mile Flat Race went to Ainsi Va La Vie the 4/9 favorite for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Patrick Mullins, giving the trainer his 12th winner of the festival, Mullins was leading trainer last year and again this year with nobody getting close to him, considering his main targets as a trainer will come later during this year then on to Cheltenham, it just goes to show how strong the Mullins stable has become.
Review by John Kennedy