Darwins delights on jumps return
A second outing of the week for Darwins Fox reaped the perfect dividend as Henry de Bromhead's seven-year-old ran out a comfortable winner of the Easy-Fix Beginners Chase at Galway.
Always stalking Ruby Walsh on Nearest The Pin, the Andrew Lynch-ridden 15-8 favourite was given a reminder a furlong and a half out before picking up to reel in Tony Martin's charge after straightening for home.
The seven-length winner tuned up for this race when an excellent second to the impressive Union Dues in a mile-and-a-half amateur riders' race on the Flat on Wednesday.
A Listed-race winner over hurdles early on in his career, Darwins Fox was winning for the first time over fences at the sixth attempt.
De Bromhead said: "He was becoming frustrating. I was thinking beforehand that himself and Nearest The Pin have been trying to win their beginners chase for a while now.
"He ran well here on Wednesday and he was good there - Andrew gave him a super ride. It's great to get a winner here and I'm delighted for his owner John Brennan, who loves to have a winner at the Galway Festival.
"We always thought he was going to be a real good horse, but he probably doesn't want extreme ground. He'll go handicapping now. We'll maybe ride him with a bit more restraint and up him in trip."
"I'm delighted to win a beginners with him. I was thinking about whether we should run again but he seemed in good form and the lads seemed delighted with him. He schooled well yesterday so we thought we'd take our chance."
Derek Fox produced Noel Kelly's 16-1 shot Glenconkeyne with a late charge to snatch the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle by half a length from Green Thirty Two.
The Northern Ireland handler, who was tasting success at the Festival for the first time, said: "I was hoping for a bit more rain, but the ground was still testing enough. I think he'll improve over further."