Monday 26 September 2016

Tony Martin-trained Golden Spear wins the Guinness Handicap at the Galway Races

Published 29/07/2016 | 19:41

Leigh Roche celebrates winning the Guinness Handicap on Golden Spear at the Galway Races in Ballybrit. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Leigh Roche celebrates winning the Guinness Handicap on Golden Spear at the Galway Races in Ballybrit. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Tony Martin produced a masterful training performance as Golden Spear came out best in a thrilling finish to the feature Guinness Handicap on the fifth day of the Galway Festival.

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Queen Alphabet kicked for home on the bend but was reeled in by Repeater who, in turn, was collared by 100-30 favourite Golden Spear and Leigh Roche.

Repeater would not go down without a fight, while Abraham lunged late down the outside, but Golden Spear, who was returning from a nine-month absence, had enough in the tank to keep going for a half-length triumph.

Roche said: "It's a great training performance, I wanted to keep saving a bit as he was off for so long but when Tony has one right they're very tough to beat.

"It was getting messy on the inside, so I switched and kept it simple and he ran all the way to the line."

Martin, who landed a valuable pot over hurdles with Heartbreak City earlier on the card, said: "He ran a blinder in this race last year and was just not good enough for Clondaw Warrior.

"A month ago I wouldn't have considered running him, but he's been coming there in the last fortnight and has started to shine.

"He's not a big horse, but could go back over hurdles."

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