Galway Races: Vastonea leaves it late but takes Topaz mile
VASTONEA lunged late to deny British raider Pintura in the European Breeders Fund-sponsored Topaz Mile, the feature race of the second day.
The Kevin Ryan-trained Pintura appeared to have seen off his rivals when taking a couple of lengths out of the field after straightening up for home, with prolific winner Custom Cut looking booked for second.
But the Kevin Prendergast-trained 7-1 shot Vastonea came from further back in the hands of Declan McDonogh to beat them both, with half a length the official winning margin over Pintura.
Custom Cut was third, with Weld's well-backed favourite Rock Critic fourth.
Prendergast was training his fifth winner of the Topaz Mile.
McDonogh said: "I was unlucky not to win on him at Leopardstown, but looking back it was probably a blessing in disguise.
"He was unlucky there, but staying won it today and the rain came in time.
"Mr Prendergast does like to win it, we won it together with Eklim before and he was a good horse.
"This horse might step up and be OK. The boss will be gloating on the top of the Old Vic (Curragh gallop) to Mr Weld next week after that!"
Winning owner Norman Ormiston said: "Kevin always believed in this horse.
"He had lots of problems as a yearling, but Kevin always said there was a big one in him.
"Declan rode a blinder."