Trainer Tony Mullins joined forces with his jockey son Danny to win the feature Tote Galway Mile EBF Handicap with Rock And Roll Kid at Ballybrit last night, ample compensation for near misses in two Curragh handicaps earlier this summer.
Talented teenager Danny provided his proud father and Dublin owner-breeder Barry Connell with the biggest success they've enjoyed on the flat as the 6/1 chance put his rivals to the sword.
Booted to the front off the final bend, the Danehill Dancer gelding never flinched under pressure from his 17-year-old regular partner to foil sustained challenges by course-and-distance scorer Maundy Money and veteran Bobs Pride.
“This win has been well worth waiting for. It's very special to succeed in any big race at Galway and it's given me a feeling I haven't had for years,” Tony enthused.
“Barry bought the dam off me and to have my son riding Rock And Roll Kid was just brilliant. All credit to Barry who told Danny to ride the race as he found it, but if he got there going well to take it up.”
Seldom out of the limelight here, Dermot Weld brought his tally for the week to four already when helping himself to a mixed double, courtesy of Teach Nua (8/1) over hurdles and Almolahek (11/2) on the flat.
Cork teenager Paul Townend oozed confidence on Teach Nua in the closing stages of the Tote Placepot Maiden Hurdle and they had too many guns from the final flight for Ruby Walsh on favourite For The Staff.
Pat Smullen spoiled the party for the connections of My Valley, which made a bold bid to take the Tote Jackpot Handicap for the third year on the trot by leading all the way until the champion jockey pounced with Almolahek.
Both of these Weld geldings are due to return to Ballybrit in search of further profit, with Teach Nua expected to turn out again in this afternoon's William Hill Handicap and Almolahek in a maiden hurdle on Saturday.
Qassaar was a warm order in the Tote EBF Maiden but was all out to hold off My Blue Heaven by a neck.
Weld was denied when Aidan O'Brien's Devoted To You (5-2) easily despatched even-money favourite Brushed Aside in the www.thetote.com EBF Fillies Maiden.
Winning jockey Colm |O'Donoghue said: “The moment I asked her, she just took off. She has plenty of pace and she quickened really well. I'd be hoping she'd be very smart.”