Ellison delight as Baraweez shows his liking for Ballybrit
Published 03/08/2015 | 02:30
Brian Ellison served up the first and only English-trained winner of the week as Baraweez led home a 1-2 for the raiders in the featured EBF Ahonoora Handicap on the final day of the Galway Festival.
Installed 7/4 favourite to repeat his Ballybrit triumph of 12 months ago, having been placed in the Topaz Mile on Tuesday, Baraweez benefited from a fine ride from Donnacha O'Brien.
The Alistair Whillans-trained Scottish challenger Pintura 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.
Over jumps, Rebel Fitz had to make do with the runner-up spot on his return to action as Jessica Harrington's Cailin Annamh (14/1) took the AtTheRaces Chase.
Despite having been off the track since last October, the Mick Winters-trained Rebel Fitz was all the rage to make a successful comeback as the 9/10 favourite.
For much of the two-and-three-quarter-mile journey everything appeared to be going to plan, with the 18-times winner showing all of his old exuberance and it looked a case of how far he would win by when he began to stretch clear from the second last.
But, the lack of a recent run began to tell up the punishing hill and Cailin Annamh, which had earlier made the running, got a second wind and rallied for Robbie Power to win by two and three-quarter lengths.
Winters, however, wasn't too disappointed with Rebel Fitz and indicated his stable star will now head for the Slan Abhaile Race at Listowel next month.
Earlier, Slygufftou stormed home to claim the Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Luke Dempsey. Michael McCullagh's 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.
Tony Martin's good week continued with a double as Dollar And Dream (7/2) took the opener under a fine ride from Shane Shortall, while Fran Berry steered his Whatsforuwontgobyu (5/4) to a facile success in the JPK Fencing Handicap.