Sunday 25 March 2018

O'Briens make it family affair at Galway and Goodwood


Trainer Joseph O Brien. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Trainer Joseph O Brien. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Johnny Ward

Joseph O'Brien took the plaudits of punters as Tigris River landed a gamble in yesterday's Guinness Galway Hurdle for the young trainer.

Swamp Fox looked the likely winner when he headed Airlie Beach at the final flight, but Barry Geraghty gained ground on the run-in and was rewarded for his endeavours as the six-year-old came good.

Geraghty, the retained jockey to owner JP McManus, returned from injury on Monday but showed plenty of strength in the saddle to snatch the €177,000 first prize.

"Barry gave him a great ride. The horse was probably flat out the whole way because he was probably a bit further back than ideal," O'Brien said of 5/1 Tigris River, which won by a neck.

Geraghty added: "I said to Barry (Browne, rider of runner-up Swamp Fox) pulling up that you'll have 20 years to win one of these as that's how long I've been trying."

It proved a very good day for the O'Brien clan as over in Goodwood father Aidan claimed the Nassau Stakes with Winter which defied concerns over the soft ground.

Ryan Moore had the 10/11 favourite just behind the pace set by Sobetsu, before sending her on to win by a length and a half from Blond Me, which took second spot.

The dual 1,000 Guineas heroine could now head for the Champion Stakes at Leopardstown next.

"She's made the transformation from the first half into the second half of the season, and she's won well on the ground, which is like winter jumping ground," said O'Brien Snr. "It's a different level of fitness you need for it, but she's obviously very good.

"Getting a mile and a quarter that well opens up a lot of options for her, and she might even get further."

Irish Independent

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