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Trainer Ellison weighs in with opportunities by the Bara load on day two of the Galway Festival after McMahon takes the opening feature race honours on Whiskey Sour


By Nick Robson

Galway regular Baraweez spearheads a double assault on the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap by Brian Ellison. Ellison may even have three runners in the feature race on the second day of the Festival, as first reserve Stipulate could also represent the Malton handler.

Baraweez has not been in the best of form this season but as a result he has dropped to his lowest mark for some time.

Twice a previous winner at the Festival, Ellison is hoping his return to Ireland brings about a return to form.

"He's back down to a decent mark and loves it at Galway," said Ellison. "My only worry is that he wouldn't want too much more rain. He's fresh and well, he's bucking and kicking and in good form."

Baraweez will be ridden by 7lb apprentice Sean Davis.

"Sean has a good reputation and I've asked a few people about him who speak very highly," Ellison added. "In races like this every pound counts so if you've got a good lad taking 7lb off it makes a difference."

Ellison's Dream Walker is another who has won at Galway before but has been disappointing so far this year.

"Dream Walker will love the ground but needs to bounce back to form," he went on. "I thought he was coming back to himself having run a good race at Chester but then he ran no race at all at Newmarket.

"He ran well twice here last year, including winning, so that might spark him back to life."

Meanwhile, Aubrey McMahon punched the air after steering Whiskey Sour to a clear-cut victory in the Connacht Hotel Handicap on day one.

Confined to amateur riders, the €100,000 contest is the traditional feature on the opening night of the seven-day Festival.

Whiskey Sour, who is owned by the winning rider's father Luke McMahon, had made a successful debut for Willie Mullins in a maiden hurdle at Tramore in early June and was a 16-1 shot switched back to the Flat.

The Mullins-trained Lagostovegas travelled powerfully towards the front rounding the home turn under the champion National Hunt trainer's son, Patrick, with 5-1 favourite Swamp Fox his closest pursuer.

However, having been ridden patiently, Whiskey Sour came round the front pair to lay down his challenge before kicking two and three-quarter lengths clear.

Swamp Fox beat Lagostovegas to the runner-up spot by a head to deny Mullins a one-two.

The Closutton handler also saddled the fast-finishing fourth home Digeanta.

McMahon said: "Everything went so smooth. It was like a dream really. Amateurs that ride all their lives dream of winning this race.

"To win it is brilliant and I can't believe it's happened."

Mullins was full of praise for the rider. He said: "Aubrey was fantastic. For a 7lb claiming rider with so little experience to ride a winner like that is fantastic. It was fantastic for him and for Luke."

Belfast Telegraph


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