Wednesday 20 September 2017

Whiskey Sour makes it a double as Willie Mullins claims another victory in Galway

Trainer Willie Mullins with the trophy after sending out Whiskey Sour and Declan McDonogh to win the Guinness Handicap during the Galway Races Summer Festival 2017 at Ballybrit, in Galway. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Willie Mullins with the trophy after sending out Whiskey Sour and Declan McDonogh to win the Guinness Handicap during the Galway Races Summer Festival 2017 at Ballybrit, in Galway. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Whiskey Sour claimed a second victory at this year's Galway Festival with a clear-cut triumph in the valuable Guinness Handicap.

Willie Mullins' inmate did the business in a two-mile-one-furlong Connacht Hotel Handicap four days ago and repeated the dose in the hands of Declan McDonogh.

Sent off the 7-4 favourite in the feature race over a mile and a half, Whiskey Sour was patiently ridden by McDonogh as Mawaany went about his business at the top of the home straight.

Mawaany fought bravely, but Whiskey Sour was produced with a powerful drive on the grey's outside and won going away by three-quarters of a length.

Le Vagabond stayed on for third place, another six lengths in arrears.

Mullins said: "He was a bit keen early, but Declan was drawn on the outside and there was a strip of ground he wanted to go on.

"He loves Galway and I think his novice hurdling career is probably on hold for now.

"The English Cesarewitch is a race I'd like to think about towards the end of the season."

McDonogh added: "He was a bit gassy the first two or three furlongs - he just got going a little bit from a wide draw.

"I knew I had a bit of work to do, but he picked up really good.

"I could have done with a stronger pace, but it was a great performance from Willie to turn him around so quickly."

Riviera Sun (16-1) had earlier excelled in the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase.

Henry de Bromhead's eight-year-old, owned by JP McManus, gamely fended off Phil's Magic by three-quarters of a length in the hands of Barry Geraghty.

Net D'Ecosse finished third, while The Gatechecker was fourth.

De Bromhead was winning the race for a second consecutive year after having last season struck with On Fiddlers Green, who was never a factor on this occasion.

He said: "He had that soft-ground form, which was great, and it was a super ride from Barry.

"He was brilliant, but we'll enjoy this and see what's next.

"I suppose we can look at a Munster National or a Kerry National. I don't know whether he's rated high enough for that but we'll see.

"On Fiddlers Green disappointed but I think he just hated the ground."

Brendan Duke has high hopes for Warm The Voice after the 2-1 favourite won the seven-furlong maiden by two and three-quarters of a length from Shifted Strategy.

Duke said: "First of all he's special - that's the first thing. He's an absolutely proper horse.

"Ground would have been a real problem for him but he's just very good.

"I'd be inclined to go steady away until next year but he is a stakes horse."

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