The miserable weather and heavy ground proved no barriers to success for men called Weld at Galway. The Master of Rosewell House had a double, with Diplomat his first winner of the day. Pat Smullen left it late on the four year old who flew home to nab Our Conor by the tightest of margins on the line.
Goodwood and Galway may be polar opposites but for today they shared more than the same initial. While Frankel nonchalantly strolled home at prohibitive odds in the Sussex Stakes in the south of England, in the west of Ireland the same colours were carried to a facile victory by long odds on shot Tandem in the closing mile maiden. Khalid Abdullah’s three year old eased to an impressive 11 length win to give Dermot Weld his sixth winner so far and a fourth of the week for jockey Pat Smullen. The win has earned Tandem a step up in class for his next outing.
“He’s a lovely big horse and will go for a conditions race next. We’ll see where he fits in,” said the winning trainer who added that Diplomat could make a quick reappearance at Naas on Bank Holiday Monday and Rock Critic, fourth in Tuesday’s Topaz Mile, may take in a novice hurdle back at Ballybrit on Saturday.
There was a third Weld trained winner in Galway yesterday, as the maestro’s second cousin Stuart won the totegoracingclub.com handicap. Gris Ladera stayed on strongly in the closing stages under a smart Fergal Lynch ride to give the Wicklow Weld his first Galway winner. In a feat that has eluded his successful relation Stuart bred, owned and trained the winner.
“I was worried that the trip might be too short. She’s had a few niggly problems but is over those and her prep work was very good. The rain came in time for her as we knew she wanted a cut. We’ve had a few placed horses here in the past so we’re delighted to have a winner,” said a joyful Weld.
The Michael O’Hare trained Gold Ability survived a steward’s enquiry in the opening Tote Scoop Six Maiden Hurdle to give jockey Robbie Colgan a first Galway winner, while Novarov overcame a huge mistake at the last to win the Tote Jackpot Handicap Hurdle by a wide margin.
He wasn’t the only jockey to break his Galway maiden on Wednesday. Harley Dunne gave Get in There a determined ride to win thetote.com Handicap Hurdle for trainer Sean Doyle. It was the eighteen year old’s third winner and Doyle’s first track winner since the winning mare was victorious on St Patrick’s Day last year.
Willie Mullins joked that he was learning from Dermot Weld’s strategy of keeping horses for Galway after Fatcatinthehat was an impressive winner of the mile and a half amateur maiden. It was his first run of the season and jockey Patrick Mullins thinks Rich Ricci’s horse, named for a newspaper headline about the banker, could have a bright hurdling future come winter.