SIXSHOOTER headlined a double the for the in-form Noel Meade team at Galway on Sunday.
On his first start since April and on his chase debut in the BetVictor Irish EBF Beginners Chase, Sixshooter (3/1) made virtually all under Sean Flanagan, beating Bay Ambition by four and a half lengths.
Afterwards Meade reported: “I’m absolutely thrilled as we didn’t know what to expect as all he had been doing was schooling on the strip at home. He is one of the first winter horses we’ve ran and I thought coming here that of my four runners, he might be the one who would need the first run over fences.
“Other than the mistake at the ditch, he was pretty good the whole way. He was a reasonably good hurdler but was a shelly horse and the bit of time has done him good. We’ll stay at a trip, he likes the soft ground and he’ll go for a novice now.”
Meade completed his double in the bumper with The Model Kingdom (7/1 for the Model Kingdown Syndicate), under jockey Pat Taaffe.
Taaffe made progress on the inside when rounding the final bend and in the final furlong the pair quickened to a seven-length win from Kilbarry Chloe.
“Pat got a beautiful run and if he rides to be a million he’ll never get a run around the inside like that again,” Meade reflected after the race. “Pat walked the track and said it was as good on the inside as anywhere else.
“We’ll probably go for a winners’ bumper and there is a possibility she might get blacktype and has a pedigree that would like blacktype.
“She quickened really well and while I don’t know how good they were in behind, she absolutely put them to bed. Her owners are Wexford and Kerry based and they’ll enjoy it!”
Chinx Of Light, winner of the Colm Quinn BMW Maiden Hurdle, has a pedigree which Meade is very familiar with, but today’s winner was trained by Barry Fitzgerald, for owner/breeder Stephen Lanigan-O’Keeffe.
A brother to three Meade trained, Gigginstown House Stud-owned winners including smart jumpers Wounded Warrior and Sword Of Destiny, Chinx Of Light (2/1) beat a pair of Gigginstown runners Favori De Champdou and Barbary Master into second and third.
Following the race, trainer Fitzgerald said: “He has a good pedigree and I thought he might need the run but was fit enough to do it nicely. He quickened away from the back of the last and Brian Hayes gave him an uncomplicated ride.
“He is a good horse and we’ll go for graded races now and hopefully they don’t sell him, for my sake.”
BALLYWILLIAM Boy produced another smart effort in winning the BetVictor Casino Novice Hurdle, forming the first leg of a double for jockey Darragh O’Keeffe.
The son of Vita Venturi made all for a five-length win over Perfect Attitude, and afterwards winning trainer Michael Hourigan stated: “I had disease in my hay and couldn’t understand how he got beaten at Limerick. He was cruising turning in at Limerick, like today, but didn’t get home.
“He’ll probably go to Mallow for a Grade 3 novice hurdle at the weekend. Today’s race was like a piece of work and he’ll go on any ground. My owners (the Devine family) are anxious to go chasing but I don’t know if that’ll happen because he is a novice hurdler until the end of November. I should probably keep him for chasing next season.”
O’Keeffe doubled his score in the Anna O’Coinne Memorial Handicap Hurdle with the Declan Queally trained Young Fitzy (11/4).
Queally’s son and namesake later reported: “This is a dream come true for the boys (Bitter Sweet Syndicate). There are seven in the syndicate from Galway and their colours are the Galway colours, maroon and white.
“After winning in Tramore I said we’d come here for this race and thankfully it has worked out. He’ll get a few pounds for that and I wouldn’t rule out giving him a little break now and aim for something around Christmas.”
TRAINER Ross O’Sullivan gained a deserved win with Theatre World in the Marlin Hotel Dublin Handicap Chase, which also provided a poignant win for the winning Downtown Syndicate, for the local Monroe family.
The nine-year-old was two lengths clear when blundering his rider Shane O’Callaghan from the saddle at the final fence at last month’s Listowel festival but enjoyed better fortune here when bobbing at the right time for a head win over The Dabbler.
O’Sullivan later reported: “Last month I had three horses in one week going to win who fell at the last and he was one of them. It swings in roundabouts and this is a local winner for the Monroe family (Downtown Syndicate). John Monroe (late trainer) passed away in 2019 and this is the family’s first winner at Galway since.
“Conor (Orr, winning jockey) gave him a clever ride and switching to the stands’ side helped. He could now run in those staying chases through the winter and we might look at the Troytown if he got in.”
Mags Mullins’ Lady Temperance (6/1, for owner Daniel Furini) won the opening BetVictor Loyalty Club (Mares) Maiden Hurdle under the trainer’s son Danny Mullins.
The daughter of Getaway made her comeback from injury at Cork in August and following the race, jockey Mullins reported: “It was a nice performance and she has always been a decent filly.
“She won a good Naas bumper first time out and she just had her problems since then. The lads at home do a great job with her and keeping her right and moving well is the thing. Hopefully where we’re at now, she can build plenty on that and there are a few nice mares’ novice races coming up so hopefully will slot into those now.”
Local trainer Pat Kelly was on the mark with Captain Jimmy (3/1f) in the Glenman Corporation Handicap Chase, scoring under jockey Philip Donovan. The winner carries the colours of Mr Cunningham and beat Classic Concorde by nine and a half lengths, ending a 17-race losing spell since his debut point-to-point win.