Brendan Brackan takes Galway feature for young star Keane
Apprentice jockey guides 10-1 shot to big victory
Brendan Brackan ridden by jockey Colin Keane goes clear to win The Topaz Mile Handicap at Galway. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Apprentice Colin Keane claimed his first Galway Festival winner as Brendan Brackan claimed the Topaz Mile Handicap, the feature event on the second day of the meeting.
Sporting the Snow Fairy colours of owner Anamoine Limited, the Ger Lyons-trained Brendan Brackan looked a likely winner some way from home in the richly-endowed handicap event.
The four-year-old has been highly tried in both Group Three and Listed company but was taking a dip in class here as he attempted to arrest a winless streak that stretched back to last September.
Confidently ridden by Keane, Brendan Brackan assumed the lead turning for home after being noted travelling particularly well, and he soon streaked clear to eventually win by eight and a half lengths at odds of 10-1
Brog Deas took second with Vastonea and Seanie third and fourth respectively while 11-4 favourite Tandem finished out of the frame.
Lyons was not at the track, but his brother Shane said: “That was beautiful and a plan that came together. He’s a Listed/Group horse running in a handicap and we were very confident.
“I’m delighted for Mrs Patino (owner of Anamoine) and Patrick Cooper, her racing manager. They’ve been very, very loyal to the stable for the last 15 or 20 years.
“This was the plan for the summer, but Dubai is the main plan. He’s a horse we’ve always liked and he won like a Group Three horse there.
“Colin is a lovely, lovely fella. We told him to put his head down and not to look around when he hit the front. He rode the race to a tee and the horse loved the yielding ground.”
Keane added: “That’s my biggest win and he did it very easily – I’m delighted. We were going to make the running but Shane said if something else went on to sit in. He travelled great, got there and went away to win very easily. I didn’t think I’d won by that far.”
Dermot Weld may have been out of luck with Tandem but Tarfasha (2-5 favourite) had earlier justified market support in the Topaz EBF Fillies Maiden.
The Teofilo filly, who is a half-sister to Galileo Rock and Saddler’s Rock among others, was not beaten far by the well-regarded Geoffrey Chaucer on her racecourse bow and showed the benefit of that experience as she saw off Ballybacka Queen by three and a quarter lengths in the hands of Pat Smullen.
Mouse Morris’s decision to send Rathlin for the Latin Quarter Chase rather than shoulder top weight in Wednesday’s Galway Plate paid dividends as the 13-8 chance ran out an easy winner.
A winner at the Punchestown Festival in May, Rathlin followed up in style when cruising home by six lengths under Davy Russell.
Paul Nicholls’s British raider Woolcombe Folly was sent off the 11-8 favourite for Ruby Walsh but he made no impression after the last, leaving Hidden Cyclone to claim the runner-up spot.
Trainer David Kelly bagged a first Galway Festival winner as Que Pasa (7-1) landed the opening Topaz Novice Hurdle.
The five-year-old found plenty for Davy Condon in a thrilling four-way finish, eventually prevailing by a neck from Shamar with Diplomat and Elegant Statesman each beaten a further three-quarters of a length in the minor placings.
Tax Reform and Sister Slew (8-1) battled it out in the dying strides of the Caulfieldindustrial.com EBF Maiden, with the latter just holding on for jockey Gary Carroll and trainer Joseph Murphy.