THE traditional mixed cards at Galway made a comeback, as Willie Mullins gate crashed Jessica Harrington’s party when Echoes In Rain (101+) handed Patrick Mullins a much sought-after Connacht Hotel Handicap.
The talented hurdler has shown reserves of stamina to match her undoubted speed since the hood has been removed and this performance not only makes her appealing over extreme distances on the flat, but it also opens new doors over hurdles.
Patrick Mullins was afforded the luxury of taking a pull of the reins as the field descended the hill to the three-furlong marker as the daughter of Authorized sauntered into contention. A finishing effort of 42.45secs sealed the race as the six-year-old held off the challenge of stablemate Maze Runner (99) who improved on her recent win at the Curragh.
Dutch Shultz (98) finished strongly into third place, and will no doubt be placed to advantage on the flat by Gavin Cromwell before he goes back hurdling, where he will be unexposed judged on this performance.
Pivotal Trigger (84+) initiated Jessica Harrington’s treble making every yard of the running in the opening seven-furlong contest. The time-figure was marginally the slowest of the evening when adjusted for distance despite the two-year-old posting the fastest closing sectional, covering the ground from the three-furlong marker in 39.85secs.
There was little to choose between the two handicaps on the clock, both from an overall time perspective and closing sectionals, which points to the concluding mile-and-a-half contest as being slightly superior given the extra ground covered.
Irish Lullaby (86) came widest of all into the straight to deliver her challenge so her closing sectional of 42.47secs is worthy of a slight upgrade, while Dairerin (85) stopped the clock at 41.60secs to win the seven-furlong handicap in convincing fashion.
War Correspondent (86) travelled like a future winner behind Irish Lullaby, while Rockbury Lad (80+) finished off well in the seven-furlong handicap after enduring a less than ideal run through the race.
THE feature race on day two of the Galway Festival was a strongly run affair with Magic Chegaga (99) a more than worthy winner as she challenged the front-runners first before hanging tough when facing up to the later challenge of Casanova. In the circumstances a closing sectional of 41.65secs compared well with the rest of the card, dispelling any theory of a slow-motion finish.
Looking towards the future the classiest individual on show was no doubt the beautifully bred Tahiyra (87+). The daughter of Siyouni clocked a slightly slower overall time than winning machine Dunum (87), although was faster through the final three furlongs, stopping the clock at 40.13secs. In comparison Dunum clocked 40.49secs in the 50-80 handicap.
To complete the data for the evening Coreman (82) finished off his race in 41.61secs to justify market support and Clear Quartz (76) clocked 41.74secs on his way to recording the slowest time on the card.