Wednesday 18 September 2019

Mullins on the double as Weld breaks his duck

'Mullins was on the mark earlier with Minella Beau, which again confirmed his liking for the Ballybrit circuit in the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase.' Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
'Mullins was on the mark earlier with Minella Beau, which again confirmed his liking for the Ballybrit circuit in the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase.' Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Thomas Kelly

The versatile Mr Adjudicator gained compensation for an unlucky run earlier in the week with victory in the Guinness Handicap, the feature race on day five of the Galway Festival.

The Willie Mullins-trained gelding met trouble in running when a fast-finishing fourth in the Connacht Hotel (QR) Handicap on Monday evening, but had better fortune on this occasion.

Kevin Manning elected to commit early aboard the 11/8 favourite after See Of Rome and Miss Snossyboots had forced the pace in the mile-and-a-half prize, and that proved a race-winning move. All out in the finish, the market leader had three-parts of a length to spare over Camphor.

"Kevin was very forceful on him and made up his mind in the dip. I said to him the horse was very sluggish coming out of stalls and to try to get a position on him, and he got a lovely position early on," said Mullins, celebrating his ninth winner of the week. "He made the horse's mind up in the dip, but said he got there a little too soon.

"It is nice compensation (for Monday) and the horse hadn't been lucky all season until Punchestown (in May) when it came right and it came right again at Autueil."

"I don't know when he last had a break, so we'll have a review of his season and we'll see what is coming up. I imagine he could get a break as we have campaigned him hard this season and I think he could improve a lot, as in jumping terms he is young."

Mullins was on the mark earlier with Minella Beau, which again confirmed his liking for the Ballybrit circuit in the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase.

Ridden by Paul Townend, the eight-year-old was sent off the 4/1 favourite and after travelling well, he joined long-time leader Icantsay at the last fence.

Swinging into the straight, Townend's mount powered on up the near-side rail, but the gallant Icantsay refused to go away in the hands of Robbie Power and Mine Now also put down a challenge.

In a thrilling finish, Minella Beau - which had been absent for 218 days - got there by half a length from Icantsay, with Mine Now another two lengths back in third as he filled the same place as last year.

Mullins said: "I thought Paul got two fine jumps out of him at the final two fences, both times he got lengths and that was the whole difference.

"The second horse put in a huge performance to make the running and we just beat him. If the second jumped the last two as well it would have been a different result, but we were lucky enough on the day."

After a couple of near-misses, Dermot Weld's first winner of the week arrived in the finale thanks to the success of Hasanabad in the Rockshore Apple Cider Race.

Four Rosewell House second-placers during the week were consigned to memory as the Chris Hayes-ridden four-year-old put in a fine display to concede weight to most of his rivals in the extended mile-six stamina test.

The son of Nathaniel kept on willingly from the front to see off market leaders Sneaky Getaway (15/8) and The King (evens) by a length and a half and half a length.

Irish Independent

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