Ruby Walsh rides Clondaw Warrior to victory in Guinness Galway Hurdle
Clondaw Warrior gave Ruby Walsh a first Guinness Galway Hurdle as he just repelled Hidden Cyclone in a thrilling finish to the Festival feature.
Walsh had surprisingly drawn a rare blank in the handicap showpiece, but the Willie Mullins-trained Clondaw Warrior was well supported before the off to end the hoodoo.
Sent off the 9-2 favourite, Clondaw Warrior was hardly sighted in the early exchanges as fellow Mullins inmate Bamako Morviere cut out the early running along with Rock The World and The Plan Man.
The majority of the riders seemed happy to bide their time and it really started to heat up with two to jump as Princely Conn, who got in the race as a reserve, began a lengthy run for home under Rachel Blackmore.
However, Walsh had timed his challenge to perfection, making his bid at the last before finding plenty for pressure to master Princely Conn and Modem.
Top-class chaser Hidden Cyclone finished with a real rattle for Danny Mullins but just failed by half a length to reel in the winner.
The victory was made extra special for Walsh as his wife Gillian is one of the winning owners via the Act D Wagg Syndicate.
Mullins was full of praise for Walsh's ride, but admitted he thought all was lost heading past the winning post for the first time.
He said: "Ruby was doing a Houdini act again after another horse here the other day
"When I saw him with, I think, four horses behind him passing the winning post, I thought to myself 'he's going to need more than a miracle to get out of that position'.
"He just bided his time, waited and waited and he obviously got through. He was just brilliant from the last home, he was very strong on him."