Uradel (12/1), the mount of Aubrey McMahon, won a thrilling running of The Connacht Hotel (Q.R.) Handicap, the feature race of the opening day of the Galway Races Summer Festival 2018.
Owned by the jockey’s father, Luke, and trained by multiple-time Champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins, who also had the runner-up, Limini (2/1f), ridden by his son, Patrick, while Waaheb (66/1) was a distant third.
The second horse got a beautiful rider from Patrick Mullins, who came comfortably into the race and looked the most likely winner, but the Celbridge, Co. Kildare rider, McMahon and his mount, Uradel, outbattled the favourite on the run to the line to give the winning connections their second successive victory in the race following Whiskey Sour’s victory last year.
Winning trainer Willie Mullins intimated that both horses may be aimed at bigger handicap races later in the season.
Limini travels oh-so powerfully but it’s stablemate Uradel who lands the day-one feature at @Galway_Races – successive victories in the @ConnachtHotel Qualified Riders’ Handicap for jockey Aubrey McMahon! pic.twitter.com/YuhCij9W3H
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) July 30, 2018
Ruby Walsh made a winning return to action at Galway following a four month lay-off when taking the opening race of the 2018 Galway Races Summer Festival, The Galmont.com & Galwaybayhotel.com Novice Hurdle over 2 miles.
Riding the Willie Mullins-trained 5/4f, Easy Game, Walsh had his mount prominent throughout, before kicking on entering the home straight for a comfortable four-and-a-quarter length win over Count Simon (6/1), with a further 14 lengths back to the third placed horse, Cool Colonnade (8/1).
Barry Geraghty brought Denis Hogan’s Storm Rising (10/1) home to take The Easyfix Handicap Hurdle over 2 miles. The winner, a son of Camford Cliffs, had just a neck to spare over Kellyiscool (8/1), with another two-and-a-half-lengths back to Golden Poet (14/1) in third, also trained by Denis Hogan.
The Claregalwayhotel.ie Irish EBF Maiden, went to the 10/1 shot Zander, a son of Oasis Dream, in the hands of Colin Keane for trainer Ger Lyons. Fozzie Stack’s Wargrave was one-and-a quarter-lengths back in second, while Power Of Now, under Billy Lee, took third place, another one-and-a-quarter lengths back in third.
The seven-furlong Claytonhotelgalway.ie Handicap at 7.05pm saw Michael Mulvaney and Gary Carroll get on the score sheet when Premier League ran out a four and a half lengths winner, beating Jim Bolger’s Vocal Music (Kevin Manning) and Krispen (Ronan Whelan).