Geraghty shows class to steer Beau Michael home
Barry Geraghty was at his brilliant best to win on the game Beau Michael in the St James' Gate Novice Chase at Galway yesterday.
The 4/1 joint-favourite, trained by Ado McGuinness, pulled out all the stops to beat Armaramak by a neck.
McGuinness said: "We gave him a bit of a break, he won his novice chases, and we said we'd go for Galway. This looked to be the less competitive race for him.
"He's a staying two-miler and that's what you need."
Dirar's trainer Gordon Elliott struck with Chicago Grey in the Perfect Pint Beginners' Chase, the 4/1 shot holding Prince Erik by a neck in the hands of Paul Carberry.
"It's great for owner John Earls, a Galway man," said Elliott.
"He's been with me a good few years now and looks after you when you're in trouble."
The Pat O'Donnell-trained Luttrell Lady (9/2), ridden by Joseph O'Brien, was awarded the Guinness Time Handicap in the stewards' room after going down by half a length to Separate Ways.
Separate Ways was demoted for causing interference when he edged left inside the final furlong, forcing O'Brien to briefly snatch up his mount and switch to make his challenge.
The highly regarded O'Brien later struck gold again in the Arthur's Legacy Handicap when Dusty Trail (25/1) stormed home by a head from Hawk Flight.
However, O'Brien had to settle for the runner-up spot on Anam Chara in the Arthur Guinness EBF Fillies' Handicap as the well-backed 5/2 favourite Smart Striking, ridden by 3lb claimer Ben Curtis, successfully landed a tidy gamble.
"Smart Striking did it well on her first handicap run. I was a bit afraid of the uneven track coming here with such an inexperienced filly," said trainer John Oxx.
James Cousins' Persian Gayle (7/1) was another to excel when claiming the Signature Novice Hurdle by a length and a half from Cooper's Crest.