Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Racing

Seven up for McManus

There was a decent pot up for grabs in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at Galway and the JP McManus colours were carried to victory by 4-1 favourite Double Seven.

Martin Brassil's rapidly-improving five-year-old had warmed up with a facile Tipperary win over two miles, but was going into unknown territory stamina-wise, facing three-quarters of a mile further.

But he was handled with supreme confidence by Mark Walsh, who didn't panic when the enterprisingly-ridden Now This Is It obtained a clear advantage at the last flight, and he produced Double Seven to lead inside the final 100 yards.

Brassil said of the three-quarter-length victor: "That's great - satisfying. He was in off a nice weight here.

"Plenty of fellas were in a hurry to run horses early in the week and this race tends to thin out - luckily for him. Some of the fancied horses came out and I'm glad we took our chance in it. He's a nice honest horse and has done this well."

Dermot Weld has been the king of the meeting but he had to settle for the silver medal for once when Blue White Fire could not quite peg back the Aidan O'Brien-trained Vault in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery.

Joseph O'Brien was able to dictate terms to suit himself on his father's 4-1 winner, who had struggled in the Railway Stakes on his previous outing, and had the majority of the field on the stretch approaching the home turn.

Blue White Fire had been his nearest pursuer throughout under top weight and began to stay on again close home, but the bird had flown as Vault crossed the line with a length and a quarter in hand.

Weld had the favourite Reach The Stars in the Handicap but it was Paul Townend, switching to the level to pilot Pozyc (4-1) for Willie Mullins, who came out on top with an emphatic two-length victory.


From Belfast Telegraph