Banna Man leaves Truckers in wake
BANNA MAN took top honours on the final day of the Galway Festival as Bryan Cooper gave the 10-year-old a great ride to land the Connacht Tribune Handicap Chase.
Racing from 6lb out of the handicap, but crucially a course-and-distance winner at Ballybrit a couple of years ago, Banna Man cruised up alongside Truckers Delight after the last.
It looked like the 8/1 chance would go on to win easily, but 7lb claimer Cooper had to keep him up to his work to secure a two-length success over Arkendale.
Winning trainer Thomond O'Mara said: "He won here on this day two years ago. He was thrown in here off a nice weight.
"He ran well here on Monday evening over hurdles and we decided to take our chance. I thought the ground might have a been a shade quick.
"I'm delighted he won a big pot and Bryan was good on him. It's his first time riding for me."
Kilmurry was an emphatic 12-length winner of the Galway Bay FM Beginners Chase for Henry de Bromhead and Andrew Lynch.
Third previously on his fencing debut at Killarney, the five-year-old jumped like an old hand and never looked back after leading three out. Prince Erik was sent off the 9/4 favourite but was an early casualty.
"That was brilliant, I was delighted with him," said the winning trainer. "He was always going to be a chaser, so that's why we decided to kick on with him, even though he is only a five-year-old.
"He ran well first time out at Killarney and one of the lads involved in him was keen to come to Galway.
"There is a two-and-a-half-mile novice chase at Tipperary in October that springs to mind for him."
Prince Chaparral's victory in the galwayraces.com Handicap made it a day to remember for Pat Flynn after the Co Waterford handler had struck in Group Three company at Cork with star mare She's Our Mark.
Impersonator (11/2) completed a hat-trick when holding Acclaimed in the Easyfix Handicap Hurdle, leading two flights from home and keeping on well up the hill to triumph by a length and a quarter.
The Tony Mullins-trained gelding was always travelling sweetly for Emmet Mullins and eased into the lead approaching the last before seeing off the challenge of Acclaimed.