Jack's the Lad in Galway Hurdle
Tony Martin's magnificent dual-purpose performer Quick Jack took the glory in the Guinness Galway Hurdle.
Since winning on the level at last year' s Festival at Ballybrit, the six-year-old has finished third in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket, third in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham and second to subsequent Gold Cup hero Trip To Paris in the Chester Cup.
Given his clear improvement on the Flat, he appeared nicely weighted on his return to hurdling and was prominent in the market at 9-2.
His supporters had few worries for most of the prestigious contest, with Quick Jack travelling powerfully in the hands of an ultra-confident Denis O'Regan.
He moved smoothly towards the lead rounding the home turn and although he got in close to the second flight from the finish, he was soon back on the bridle and took up the running from Shark Hanlon's stable star Hidden Cyclone.
Quick Jack looked set for comprehensive victory early in the straight, but his stable companion and last year's winner Thomas Edison came with a strong challenge, only to suffer a heavy fall at the final obstacle.
His exit left O'Regan's mount clear and the jockey punched the air as he passed the post two and a quarter lengths to the good.
Max Dynamite fared best of the Willie Mullins brigade in second, with Ted Veale, another Martin-trained runner, third.
Hidden Cyclone was fourth.
Winning owner John Breslin, who also owns Ted Veale, said: "What a ride. He gave him the best ride I've seen in the Galway Hurdle.
"He kept on the rail and came into the bend full of horse. Tony has done a fantastic job with him.
"He's a class horse. We've been unlucky in big handicaps like the Cesarewitch and the Chester Cup and the County Hurdle, but everything went right today.
"Denis gave him a peach and what can I say? It's the biggest day of my life.
"I'm very emotional. I never dreamed I'd win a Galway Hurdle."