Galway Races: Results from day three
GOLD Ability (8-1) showed Olympic-style courage to win the Tote Pick Six Maiden Hurdle at Galway in a thrilling finish from Too Scoops.
Too Scoops, well-backed throughout the morning, looked sure to win turning for home but Robbie Colgan had not let him get out of his sights.
Even in the battle after the last Too Scoops looked likely to prevail but Colgan got a great rally out of Michael O'Hare's charge to win in a head-bobber.
The two came close together and the stewards had a look but left the result unaltered.
"We were hopeful but thought the ground might be against us. It obviously rode better than we thought," said O'Hare.
"He's real genuine and very gutsy - he kept putting his head down. The only problem with him is that he bleeds.
"We're delighted with the performance and I can't believe that the first two pulled 29 lengths clear of the third.
"Robbie is a top-class rider and gave him a terrific ride."
Davy Russell would have been disappointed to get beaten on Too Scoops in the opener and his mood will not have improved after the New Website 'thetote.com' Handicap Hurdle.
The champion jockey was oozing confidence on Lough Ferrib and jumped into the lead at the third-last.
However, that gave Get In There a perfect tow into the race and his young jockey Harley Dunne kept his nerve in a battling finish which saw the 14-1 shot prevail by three-quarters of a length.
It was just a third career victory for the 18-year-old jockey Dunne, who said of the Sean Doyle-trained winner: "We got stopped at the start as they all closed me off on the rail. It probably worked out for the best.
"She was a bit on her head but stayed battling away and is a very tough little mare.
"I thought I was in with a shout at the last but didn't think I'd get to Davy. I didn't think she would stick her head out and battle like that."
Top-weight Novarov (9-2 favourite) gave David Splaine a second winner of the week in the Tote Jackpot Races 3 to 6 Handicap Hurdle.
Trainer John O'Shea employed the services of the youngster to take 7lb off his back and it paid dividends with a commanding performance.
He travelled like the best horse throughout and the only moment of worry was at the final flight, which the 9-2 favourite met all wrong, and Splaine did well to keep the partnership intact.
"I was worried a bit going to the last as he could have hit the deck but Davy was good on him," said O'Shea.
"They didn't go much of a gallop and we knew he'd get every yard of the trip.
"I had a winner here three of four years ago so it's great to get another.
"In the back of our minds we're thinking he might be a Pertemps horse next year so we'll see, but he's got size and scope for fences."
Experienced proved key for both horse and jockey in the Bet 10euros, Get 10euros At The Tote Marquee (Q.R.) Maiden as Fatcatinthehat and Patrick Mullins hacked up.
Having his first start since being gelded, the son of Derby winner Authorized was in the perfect position throughout under Mullins, riding for his father, Willie.
Up against riders with far less experience, Mullins kept the 2-1 favourite up to his work to beat Dermot Weld's Three Kingdoms by six lengths.
Mullins snr said: "He ran a cracker here as a two-year-old last year having his first run and we waited for Galway this year.
"I was hoping he'd get a mile and a half on this ground but he got it easily.
"He should have a nice jumping career but I hope he'll have a nice Flat career as well. He's been working quite well at home but his last bit of work was his worst which was my only worry coming here but we took our chance.
"We minded him all year for this. The owner (Rich Ricci) likes to come for Galway where he's done well before."