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Galway Races 2015: Modem to bid for big race double

Often tried but rarely completed, Modem will bid to become the first horse since Athy Spirit in 1990 to complete the big Galway Races double by following success in yesterday's Connacht Hotel Amateur Handicap with victory in the Guinness Galway Hurdle on Thursday.

At entry stage it looked highly unlikely that the Jessica Harrington-trained Modem would get into yesterday's feature race but less than 10 minutes before declarations closed it became apparent to the trainer's daughter' and winning rider, Kate and she changed from riding the stable's other representative Kabjoy to Modem and it proved to be a fruitful move in many ways.

Kabjoy, unfortunately, parted ways with her rider Mark Fahey at the start of the race and it was Modem who denied the John Oxx-trained Awesome Star in the closing stages to make the Harringtons the first winning mother/daughter partnership to win the race and the first parent and child since Willie Mullins rode the winner for his father Paddy in 1985.

The 25-year-old winning rider admitted: "It's amazing, I can't believe it's actually happened. The gaps appeared everywhere throughout the race and I just wish my late father (Johnny) was here to see me win it."

Jessica Harrington added: "He goes on Thursday and while it didn't look like he'd get in today, it was always the plan to run in both and this is a race both Kate and I always wanted to win, Kate has been placed in it a number of times.

Dermot Weld's first winner of the week came when True Solitaire landed the Claregalwayhotel.ie Maiden over seven-furlongs with Pat Smullen and a stakes race over a mile is next on the agenda with a Group Three on Champions Weekend a possible target according to the trainer.

Weld doubled up with the tough Harasava in the Colm Quinn BMW Handicap and Aidan O'Brien combined with his daughter Sarah as Kalopsia won the bumper.