Prince Rudi digs deep to deliver for Nolan
Prince Rudi rolled back the years to land the feature race on the sixth day of the Galway Festival.
Trained in Co Kildare by Stephen Nolan, the 12-year-old gelding pocketed just shy of €30,000 in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle with a really brave effort under 3lb claimer Ian McCarthy.
The 20/1 outsider tracked game pacemaker Flatfoot Boogie for a long way before the latter's challenge petered out along the run-in.
Several horses were still in contention after the final flight, but Prince Rudi was in a particularly belligerent mood and kept the onrushing Shanpallas (6/1) at bay by half a length. Give Me A Break (6/1) finished third.
"You need a tough stayer for this race," McCarthy said. "Stephen said to just get a lead and it turned into a test of stamina.
"He's a horse with an awful lot of problems so it's credit to him (Nolan) the way he's handled the horse and chosen his races."
Nolan added: "He pays his way, he's a super horse. I was glad the rain came at the right time.
"He won well and Ian knows him inside out so it was a good team effort. We were thinking of Kerry National but he probably needs another win over fences to get in.
"If the ground went too heavy I might give him break, but the plan next year would be the Irish National."
Marchese Marconi, trained by Aidan O'Brien and owned by JP McManus, had earlier scooted an impressive 14 lengths clear as the 4/11 favourite for the Ladbrokes Mobile Maiden Hurdle.
Robbie Power's partner, which was never a factor on the Flat on Monday, was a little untidy at the second-last but he easily defeated Marty's Magic in a one-sided affair.
McManus's racing manager Frank Berry said: "That was pretty straightforward. He jumped well bar one, when he dived at the second-last.
"He appreciated the give in the ground. He was always on top of his head on fast ground in a handicap earlier in the week.
"We'll try him in a winners-of-one race."
Clonard Street (22/1) sprang a surprise by making a winning debut in the 'This is the Ladbrokes Life' EBF Maiden.
The Archipenko colt, trained by John McConnell, had several well-bred horses from the top Irish yards behind him as he lifted his extended mile contest in promising fashion.
Gary Carroll steered him to victory by half a length from the experienced Prologue, trained by Mick Halford. Dermot Weld's Spryt was third.
McConnell said: "We always liked him at home. He always showed us a bit.
"He's not flashy, his best work has been at the end of his work so we thought he'd find more on a racecourse. He's really tough and talented. I'm in a little bit of shock.
"We'll obviously have to go for something OK now, but when we bought him we always said the horse was for sale. There's tons of improvement there."
Ross Coakley's allowance proved crucial as the 5lb claimer got Yulong Xiongba (9/2) up in the last few strides to grab the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery Handicap in thrilling style.
Intense Style looked home and hosed when going on after turning for home but the 6/4 favourite was collared by Johnny Murtagh's youngster, which was receiving lumps of weight, to prevail by a head.
Coakley said: "I rode him in two of his three previous runs and I've always liked him. I ride him out a good bit at home.
"He was a shade keen early and I didn't want him to get to the front too soon, but they quickened down the hill and my lad just got tapped for a little bit of toe.
"When he hit the hill he got going and stayed on all the way."
Sunday Indo Sport