Friday 20 April 2018

Delight for Martin as Golden Spear and Heartbreak City deliver Galway double


Trainer Tony Martin after sending out Golden Spear to win the Guinness Handicap at the Galway Races in Ballybrit, Co Galway. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Tony Martin after sending out Golden Spear to win the Guinness Handicap at the Galway Races in Ballybrit, Co Galway. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Tony Martin had a day to remember at Galway, Golden Spear and Heartbreak City giving the Meath handler a double.

Queen Alphabet kicked for home on the bend in the feature Guinness Handicap, but was reeled in by Repeater which, in turn, was collared by 100/30 favourite Golden Spear, which had enough in the tank to keep going for a half-length triumph on its return after a nine-month absence.

A delighted Martin said: "He ran a blinder in this race last year but was just not good enough for Clondaw Warrior.

"A month ago I wouldn't have considered running him but he's been coming there in the last fortnight, and has started to shine.

"He's not a big horse but could go back over hurdles."

Winning rider Leigh Roche, who registered a brace of his own when steering Michael O'Callaghan's Intrepid Prince to a clear-cut victory in the Arthur Guinness Handicap at odds of 7/1, said: "It's a great training performance.

"I wanted to keep saving a bit as he was off for so long, but when Tony has one right they're very tough to beat."

Galway Plate-winning jockey Donagh Meyler enjoyed further success when getting Heartbreak City up in the Guinness Handicap Hurdle.

The 3/1 favourite travelled strongly and was one of seven or eight in contention approaching the final flight. A gap appeared shortly after he landed and Meyler forced his way through, with Heartbreak City showcasing an impressive change of gear to account for St Stephens Green by a length.

Martin said: "He was unlucky here last year. Donagh rode him with confidence. He's had a good week, winning the Plate, and has really come of age tonight with the ride he gave him.

"He's had a lot of issues and doesn't take a lot of racing. We'll see how he comes out of this but there are races like the Ebor and the Cesarewitch."

Ivan Grozny is set for a trip to York next month after producing a scintillating performance to outclass the opposition in the Guinness Race.

Willie Mullins' high-quality jumper arrived on the back of a Grimes Hurdle success, and Declan McDonogh was happy to make use of his stamina, bouncing him out in front.

The 8/11 favourite was allowed an uncontested lead, with McDonogh winding up the pace, and Ivan Grozny strode further and further clear, eventually passing the post 14 lengths ahead of Here For The Craic.

McDonogh said: "He's as good a staying horse as I've ridden, and he covers some ground. You wouldn't know how far he could go. He's a horse that excels at those long distances. Willie said he'll go for the Ebor now."

RaceBets cut the Andrea and Graham Wylie-owned six-year-old to 10/1 from 14/1 for the Ebor on August 20.

Dermot Weld's Lost In Silence built on her debut effort to take the Guinness 17:59 Auction Maiden, while On Fiddlers Green ran out a decisive winner of the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase for Henry de Bromhead.

Irish Independent

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