Thursday 19 April 2018

Geraghty guides Wellforth home

Thomas Kelly

PAUL GILLIGAN was left dreaming of even bigger things after Wellforth showed guts in abundance in claiming the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap at Ballybrit yesterday.

Fourth here on Tuesday, the nine-year-old was given a fine ride by Barry Geraghty, joining issue with the long-time prominent Noble Commander heading out on to the second circuit.

Geraghty's mount, a winner at Uttoxeter in June, landed narrowly in front after jumping the sixth-last and was nimble at the final two obstacles before striking for home.

The pack tried to close but the 5/1 second-favourite found plenty to hold off Agus A Vic by four-and-a-quarter lengths, with Prince Of Leisure third.

Inis Meain turned the Guinness Handicap into a procession for trainer Denis Hogan and jockey Chris Hayes. Sent off at 5/1 for the €60,000 event having been second in the 5.30 race on Thursday, the five-year-old was soon in the lead and really picked up when asked rounding the final bend.

John Monroe was another local trainer on the mark and it was a landmark first in the Guinness (Q.R) Handicap with 11/1 chance Muzak, which will be out again tomorrow.

Dermot Weld had a double to take his tally of winners for the week to eight.

Muaanid made a winning debut in the two-year-old 7f Median Auction Maiden. The 4/1 chance, a son of Kheleyf, hit the front early in the straight and was never really threatened by King Of The Romans, having a length and a quarter in hand at the line.

Weld, who saw his horses finish second in two other races, said: "It was a good performance. He had the race won from a long way out. He's green and a bit nervous. He'll come on from the race and learn a lot from it. He's a colt I like."

The ace trainer believes that Pale Mimosa also has a bright future after she got off the mark with a 15-length success in the mile-and-a-half Guinness Maiden.

The 4/6 favourite justified her price in style and she disposed of her field with the utmost of ease. "She's a lovely mare. I've been waiting all year for a nice bit of ground with her," added Weld.

Irish Independent

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