Tuesday 16 January 2018

Weld hits new Ballybrit high

Ballybrit king Dermot Weld made history when recording his 11th winner of the week at Galway.

The landmark win came courtesy of Masdar (6/1) in the concluding Kerrymaid Festival Flat Race, with Robbie McNamara's mount getting up late on to deny Somethingdifferent by two lengths.

"It was nice to break the record and that was Robbie's fifth win of the week from only six rides," Weld said. "We were hoping for a good run first time out, he's a nicely bred horse, he was just a bit weak and backward.

"Robbie was more confident than I was coming into the race, I thought it might have a come a bit too soon. I think there's a lot of improvement to come from this horse."

Toufan Express (9/1) overcame ground fears to run out a smooth winner of the Low Low Handicap. Given an ultra-confident ride by Fran Berry, the Adrian McGuinness-trained eight-year-old was nearer last than first for a long way, but made stealthy headway to a furlong out and swooped late down the outside to deny Tuesday winner Ask Jack by half a length.

"I was afraid the ground would be a bit lively for him," McGuinness said. "Fran said he was not liking it early on, but as he started going past horses he enjoyed it. He's in again at Leopardstown on Thursday, so we'll see how he comes out of this."

Hope Of An Angel gave Sligo-based handler Niall Moran a big win in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Nursery Handicap. The outsider of six at 12/1, connections had to survive a stewards' inquiry into possible interference with third home Suntan, the 2/1 favourite.

"She did it well. I was afraid of Suntan but he needed to be a fair horse to give us plenty of weight," Moran said. "We'll go for a winners race now at Sligo."

Baracas foiled a Weld hotpot to run out an easy winner of the Jockeys Association Maiden Hurdle. Silverhand (8/1) carried the green and gold colours of JP McManus to further big-race success in Galway with victory in the Freshways Handicap Hurdle.

Tim Carroll -- looking great value for his 7lb claim -- made the decisive move rounding the final turn on the Noel Meade-trained six-year-old, which jumped the last well and ran on strongly to hold Red Vinto by two and a half lengths.

Sunday Independent

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