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Vive victorious for Martin

Vive La France left his previous form a long way behind when initiating a treble for Tony Martin in the Guinness Handicap Hurdle at Galway.

The French import was sent off at 14-1 but that seemed short enough considering he hadn't managed to make the frame in eight previous attempts on Irish soil.

He travelled like a dream in the hands of Adrian Heskin, though, and after taking up the running turning in, he hardly came out of second gear to beat The Plan Man by six lengths.

"Today everything fell right for him and hopefully he can improve off it. As a young horse he was doing too much the whole time but the penny is really after dropping now and we're delighted with where he is," said Heskin.

"Those valuable handicap hurdles will be the road for him now. Tony and the lads have done a great job settling him."

Martin followed up when well-backed 5-2 favourite Tudor City prevailed in a three-way photo in the Arthur Guinness Handicap.

The trainer said: "He is a nice horse in the making and has already schooled over hurdles. He's still green and raw, though, and is improving all the time.

"He didn't have the easiest of passages but had to knuckle down and battle."

The treble was completed by Dark Crusader (7-4) in the Guinness Race.


From Belfast Telegraph