Monday 19 August 2019

What a Warrior: Mullins looks to York after 'Clondaw' takes Galway prize

Jack Kennedy with Clondaw Warrior after last night’s success in the feature at Galway
Jack Kennedy with Clondaw Warrior after last night’s success in the feature at Galway

Thomas Kelly

Royal Ascot hero Clondaw Warrior proved the star of the show on the fifth day of Galway as the smart dual-purpose gelding landed the valuable Guinness Handicap for Willie Mullins.

Successful in the two-and-a-half-mile Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting under Ryan Moore, the eight-year-old dropped back a mile in trip and was produced to perfection by rising star Jack Kennedy - scooting clear from the turn to beat 7/2 favourite Golden Spear by a length and a half.

Next stop for the 4/1 winner is likely to be the Ebor at York. "He's improving all the time, the plan was the Galway Hurdle, but he wasn't good enough to get in on ratings this year," said Mullins.

"When I looked at this race I thought for the money it wasn't really sharp, we had a good apprentice in Jack on his first ride for me and he was very good on him.

"Last September he won here and we know about horses for courses at Galway. I'd imagine he'll probably go for the Ebor if he gets in, if I can just freshen him up again that will be the plan. It's a lovely prize."

Kennedy, partnering his 17th winner having been riding for three months, said: "It was brilliant, it's nice to get on the board and in a big handicap and for Willie on my first ride for him is great."

Mouse Morris and David Mullins bagged a notable winner as Rogue Angel showed guts in abundance in the Galway Blazers Handicap Chase.

Sent off at 16/1, the seven-year-old led passing the stands on the final circuit and despite being strongly pressed, refused to buckle, proving two lengths too good for Perfect Promise.

Urano, given a waiting ride by Ruby Walsh, had to settle for third. Morris had been out of luck when Rule The World was an unfortunate departure in the Galway Plate on Wednesday.

He said: "There's nothing like winning a Plate, but it wasn't to be so we'll take this one. I'll have to talk to the owners now and see what they want to do. David gave him a smashing ride, he waited for him off the bridle the first couple, but when he came on it he jumped super."

Of Rule The World, he added: "He was probably just going too easy. Thankfully, he's grand; there's one of those staying races in him, probably the Kerry National will be next, we'll see."

Training honours on the night went to Tony Martin who completed a treble, which was initiated by the success of as Vive La France in the opener as the 14/1 outsider led home a 1-2 for the yard.

Given a confident ride by Adrian Heskin, the French import improved two out and eased clear to beat stablemate The Plan Man by six lengths.

The Co Meath handler then saw his Tudor City land a monster gamble in the extended one-mile handicap as Fran Berry brought the well-backed 5/2 favourite with a brilliantly-timed run to pip Sakhee's Jack by a head.

There was more joy for the Martin-Berry axis in the finale as Dark Crusader got the better of Dermot Weld's 9/10 favourite Good Tradition by just over a length.

Earlier, Weld's frustrating week continued as yet another of his favourites, Palmetto Dunes (10/11), was edged out by Eddie Lynam's Whiskey Sour (9/1) under Colm O'Donoghue in a pulsating finish to the auction maiden.

Weld also had to settle for the runner-up spot in the 12-furlong maiden as his Pictogram (5/2) chased home David Wachman's Nova which was ridden to victory by Billy Lee.

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