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Grey Soldier fights way to victory in Galway Hurdle

Grey Soldier earned his spot in the Galway Hurdle by winning the Seamus Mulvaney Crockafotha Handicap Hurdle — part of a near-45/1 treble for trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Paul Carberry at Bellewstown yesterday.

The pair have been in terrific form and their good run continued by landing the feature race, although Carberry had to use all his strength in the saddle after a mistake at the last.

The 2/1 favourite responded to his jockey's urging to beat Not To Know by half a length.

“I'm delighted this horse won, he deserved it,” said Elliott.

“Paul was brilliant once again. He knows all the horses, which is a huge help.

“We always thought this horse was a Galway Hurdle horse, but he has disappointed us.

“After that performance, he'll definitely have an entry in the Hurdle.”

The pair won the opening Glebe House Stud Maiden Hurdle with Hamalka (7/1), which went down well with the local crowd.

“It's great for the owners, who are locals from Bellewstown,” said Elliott.

Russian War (9/10 favourite) was another who needed Carberry's strength in the Grangeclare Paddocks Open Farms Maiden Hurdle.

“Paul is a genius, he is riding out of his skin at the moment,” added Elliott.

Eoin Doyle recorded an across-the-card double when Mojito Royale (8/1) followed up the earlier victory of The Fonze (9/4) at Limerick yesterday.

The Fonze was recording his 14th career success in the Adare Festival Weekend Hurdle.

Also at Limerick, Andrew |McNamara and Edward O'Grady recorded a double. Armaramak (5/1) took the 22nd July Twilight Racing Beginners Chase to earn a trip to Galway, while 5/2 joint-favourite Manhattan Boy landed the www.thetote.com Galway Plate Trial Handicap Chase.

However, McNamara picked up a five-day ban for failing to weigh in after the first race, causing Golden Grimshaw, who finished second, to be disqualified.

Elsewhere, Richard Hannon's Dick Turpin finally gained the first Group One success of his career with a stunning display in the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly in France yesterday.

Second in the English and French 2000 Guineas, as well as the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot just 19 days ago, he was not winning out of turn.

French Guineas and Derby winner Lope De Vega was sent off a short price to give Andre Fabre and Maxime Guyon more Group One glory, but he struggled to get past his pacemaker three furlongs out and when Richard Hughes sent Dick Turpin after him the result was never in doubt.

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