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Spear hits the target

By Ron McKnight

Published 30/07/2016

Golden moment: Golden Spear on the way to victory in last night's Galway Festival feature, the Guinness Handicap, with Leigh Roche in the saddle
Golden moment: Golden Spear on the way to victory in last night's Galway Festival feature, the Guinness Handicap, with Leigh Roche in the saddle

Golden Spear is on the up and up after landing the £100,000 Guinness Handicap, the feature on the fifth day of the Galway Festival.

Ridden by Leigh Roche and trained by Tony Martin, Golden Spear may now go back over hurdles.

Roche said: "It's a great training performance. When Tony has one right they're very tough to beat."

Martin, who landed a valuable pot over hurdles with Heartbreak City earlier on the card, said: "He's not a big horse, but could go back over hurdles."

The day's racing was overshadowed by the funeral of JT McNamara - in Manister, Co Limerick - the 41-year-old jockey passing away earlier this week three years after being paralysed in a fall at the Cheltenham Festival.

Meanwhile, Plain Talking - a winner at Ballybrit on Wednesday - gets the vote to double up in today's Galway Festival feature, the Ladbrokes Hurdle.

Totalize carries top weight following a win at Market Rasen and previously ran an excellent race at Royal Ascot.

Westerner Lady represents champion trainer Willie Mullins with Ruby Walsh aboard while Sone Hawk and Mine Now also warrant respect in the £80,000 showpiece.

Tyrone trainer Andy Oliver has Dynamagic in the EBF Maiden but Capri and Mujaazy are preferred with the latter getting the vote to add to Dermot Weld's Festival tally this week which presently lags behind his own amazing strike rate at Ballybrit.

Fiery Speech shoulders top weight for Weld in the nursery however Sir Dreamalot, fourth in an above average two-year-old race at Down Royal before scoring at Sligo, will appreciate another step up in distance.

Beau Satchel won on Tuesday and Cairdiuil was beaten in a photo finish on Wednesday - and the pair dominate the Red Day Handicap.

Trainer Tony Martin, getting into top gear late in the week, is doubly represented in the Grid Handicap with Jeremys Joy and Smooth Operator while Dermot Weld runs Shingari but Catchy Lass can supply each way value.

British trainer Brian Ellison has been a great supporter of the Galway Festival and the Malton-based handler runs four in tomorrow's final day feature, the Ahonoora Handicap.

Top Notch Tonto (second), Stipulate (fourth) and Baraweez (fifth) ran in the Premier Mile Handicap earlier in the week while Dream Walker filled third, denied just a length on Thursday.

The quartet give the trainer an ultra strong hand in tomorrow's €100,000 feature.

Kevin Ryan has booked Pat Smullen for top weight Kelinni.

Reckless Endeavour, Have A Nice Day and Downforce could be the pick of the home team.

Alechi Inois was runner-up in the Galway Plate just over a length behind winner Lord Scoundrel and can gain compensation for trainer Willie Mullins. TODAY'S GALWAY TIPS: 2.40 Jack The Wire 3.15 Plain Talking 3.50 Mujaazy 4.25 Sir Dreamalot 5.00 Beau Satchel 5.35 Catchy Lass 6.05 Bridge Native TOMORROW'S GALWAY TIPS: 2.15 Dollar And A Dream 2.45 Tulsa Jack 3.20 Stipulate 3.55 Alechi Inois 4.30 Devil's Bride 5.00 Tudor City 5.30 Mounira 6.00 First Figaro

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