Whiskey Sour takes sweet victory in Galway feature
Aubrey McMahon produced Whiskey Sour with a perfectly-timed challenge to claim top honours in Galway's Connacht Hotel (Q.R.) Handicap for Willie Mullins.
The four-year-old appeared to lose his way for Edward Lynam but made a successful start for the champion jumps trainer in a Tramore maiden hurdle last month.
His stable companion Lagostovegas, under Mullins' son Patrick, hit the front on the home turn, with last year's winner Swamp Fox for company, but Whiskey Sour (16-1) swept by them both and came two and three-quarter lengths clear of Swamp Fox, with Lagostovegas third and another Mullins inmate Digeanta fourth.
McMahon said: "Everything went so smooth. It was like a dream really. Amateurs that ride all their lives dream of winning this race. It's great to even get a ride in a race this. To win it is brilliant and I can't really believe it's happened."
Mullins said: "Aubrey was fantastic. For a 7lb claiming rider to ride a winner like that is fantastic, a young rider like that with so little experience.
"He's a winner here before and had a lovely weight with Aubrey's 7lb claim. It was just what traffic problems Aubrey was going to encounter and whether he could handle them.
"He broke well enough but got shuffled back along the rail. When he felt himself going well he just angled out wide and didn't panic.
"He rode a good race considering the way the race panned out, I thought he was very good. He didn't panic and didn't try and go for gaps that weren't there.
"He just waited and waited until the horse got daylight and when he got daylight he came with his challenge.
"I thought it was a very good performance for a 7lb claimer, especially around Galway. This race is always a tough race, there are more hard-luck stories in this race than most.
"It was fantastic for him and for (owner) Luke, his father, who is a great patron of the stable. I'm sure it'll be one of Luke's best winners.
"Digeanta got a very slow break and got shuffled back as well. He ran great considering everything that happened in the race.
"Lagostovegas didn't have the greatest draw in the world but Patrick got her over nicely. She had a good position the whole way and had her chance but I think probably just the weight told.
"What she showed me today I think there is probably another nice handicap in her.
"I didn't realise the winner had won in Galway before and when I went back through his form I put him in everything I could.
"He's in the mile-and-a-half on Friday. I was half-disappointed I didn't have him in the novice hurdle today when the other horse (Nessun Dorma) came out.
"I'd say he'll go on Friday now."