Friday 20 October 2017

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

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.

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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