Saturday 1 October 2016

Longford edges Galway thriller

Published 02/08/2015 | 19:02

Bally Longford
Bally Longford

Henry de Bromhead's excellent week continued as Bally Longford edged ahead in a thrilling Lord Hemphill Memorial Handicap Chase.

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The 8-1 shot looked set to win decisively when hitting the front under Barry Geraghty, but Un Beau Roman came back tenaciously.

In the end, though, Bally Longford won the argument by a length.

Miracle jockey Brian Toomey had his first ride over fences since his much publicised fall at Perth two years ago, but pulled up Phil Kirby's British challenger Kings Grey.

Geraghty said: "The ground wasn't that bad I'd say. He jumped well and battled well. I thought when I went past Ruby that's the last I'll see of you, but he stayed at it well and I thought I was in trouble. My lad just kept finding a little bit more."

Slygufftou finished powerfully to land the Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Luke Dempsey.

Michael McCullagh's charge was turning out just nine days after opening his account under Rules at the 11th attempt at Wexford and was a 16-1 shot for this more competitive heat.

The grey was never too far off the speed, but looked booked for minor honours as Harangue and Medinah Gold began to draw clear from the second-last.

However, Medinah Gold was slow at the final obstacle and with Harangue beginning to tie up, Slygufftou stuck on admirably to come through and win by a length and three-quarters.

McCullagh said: "This horse has given me a hard time at home but I forgive him all now. I was saying beforehand that I should have waited for Roscommon (on Tuesday).

"I told young Dempsey to wait and wait and he did exactly as he was told."

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