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Weld reigns at ballybrit

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Busted Tycoon (right) under Ruby Walsh jumps the last to win the Vision Express European Breeders Fund Mares Handicap Hurdle and in doing so wins three times at the Galway summer festival. Picture: Julien Behal/PA

Busted Tycoon (right) under Ruby Walsh jumps the last to win the Vision Express European Breeders Fund Mares Handicap Hurdle and in doing so wins three times at the Galway summer festival. Picture: Julien Behal/PA

Busted Tycoon (right) under Ruby Walsh jumps the last to win the Vision Express European Breeders Fund Mares Handicap Hurdle and in doing so wins three times at the Galway summer festival. Picture: Julien Behal/PA

Tony Martin's sustained challenge on Dermot Weld to train the most amount of winners at this year's Galway Festival went all the way through until the final day at Ballybrit.

And although Martin fell just short, he did celebrate an eighth winner of the week as Busted Tycoon won for an unprecedented third time at the meeting.

There were jubilant scenes in the winner's enclosure as the four-year-old mare won for the third time under a third different jockey and brought her winning sequence to six.

Fran Berry had won on Busted Tycoon over two miles on Monday night and she was triumphant again on Saturday, with Shane Shortall claiming 10lbs off her in another two-mile Flat race. Yesterday, it was the turn of Ruby Walsh in the mares' handicap hurdle and although Walsh had to be at his very best, the gallant mare toughed it out well to score by half a length.

Less than 24 hours after the mare won for a second time this week, Martin looked on as the unique treble was completed and said: "Shane left enough in reserve for today when he rode her yesterday and that was vital. If you saw her this morning you wouldn't think she had a race at all yesterday.

Dreamed

Martin added: "I thought at the start of the week I might get to run her twice but to win three with her ... I never dreamed of it.

"You can never picture having eight winners in a week but you need a lot of luck. One horse I thought was one of my better chances of the week was Another Ambition and he fell!"

Martin had the first three morning favourites on yesterday's card and if they had all obliged, he would have drawn level with Weld. But it wasn't to be as only Busted Tycoon was successful and Weld himself later got on the scoresheet with Notable Graduate.

Notable Graduate had failed to land a blow when running in the feature race on the opening card of the marathon week. But under replacement rider Derek O'Connor, he brought his trainer's tally to 11 for the week, which is only the second time the master of Rosewell House has accumulated that total.

The maiden hurdle winner was to be ridden by Robbie McNamara but the amateur was unable to do the correct weight on the horse and after a request for Ruby Walsh to ride was turned down, O'Connor was handed the responsibility.

A Weld double was denied in the bumper as O'Connor and Grecian Tiger were denied by Merrion Row in the last.

But it was another leading trainer award for Weld and his Rosewell House team as order was resumed at Ballybrit after another truly epic week.


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