Nolan sets sights on National after Prince Rudi’s Galway success
12-year-old puts up a top effort to take the Ladbrokes Hurdle under Ian McCarthy
Marchese Marconi and Robbie Power win the Ladbrokes Maiden Hurdle on day six of the Galway Festival. Photograph: PA Wire
Stephen Nolan would love to run Prince Rudi in the Irish National next spring after his stable stalwart landed the feature race on the sixth day of the Galway Festival.
The 12-year-old gelding put up a top effort to take the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle under 3lb claimer Ian McCarthy.
The 20-1 outsider tracked game pacemaker Flatfoot Boogie for a long way before the latter’s challenge petered out along the run-in.
Prince Rudi then kept the onrushing Shanpallas (6-1) at bay by half a length, with Give Me A Break another length and three-quarters away in third.
“He pays his way, he’s a super horse. I was glad the rain came at the right time,” said Co Kildare-based Nolan.
“He won well and Ian knows him inside out so it was a good team effort.
“We were thinking of Kerry National but he probably needs another win over fences to get in.
“If the ground went too heavy I might give him break, but the plan next year would be the Irish National.”
Marchese Marconi, trained by Aidan O’Brien and owned by JP McManus, earlier scooted 14 lengths clear as the 4-11 favourite for the Ladbrokes Mobile Maiden Hurdle.
Robbie Power’s partner, who was never a factor on the Flat on Monday, was a little untidy at the second-last but he easily defeated Marty’s Magic in a one-sided affair.
McManus’ racing manager, Frank Berry, said: “He appreciated the give in the ground. He was always on top of his head on fast ground in a handicap earlier in the week.
“We’ll try him in a winners-of-one race.”
Clonard Street (22-1) sprang a surprise when making a winning debut in the ‘This is the Ladbrokes Life’ EBF Maiden as Gary Carroll steered him to victory by half a length from Prologue.
Trainer John McConnell had expected a big run.
He said: “If this fella hadn’t run well I’d have been in trouble as he was beating all my other two-year-olds. He was working well with older horses,.
“He never wins his gallop by far and Gary said he was pulling up in front. He was green and also jumped the road.
“I’d say it takes a good horse to win here first time out. He won in spite of the ground, he wants better ground. I’m hoping he’ll be running in other colours next time, but that I’ll get to keep him.
Ross Coakley’s allowance proved crucial as the 5lb claimer got Yulong Xiongba (9-2) up in the last few strides to grab the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery Handicap.
Intense Style looked home and hosed when going on after turning for home but the 6-4 favourite was collared by Johnny Murtagh’s youngster, who was receiving lumps of weight and prevailed by a head.
Murtagh said: “I thought the 5lb might give him a chance and bring him closer to the horse that beat him, Intense Style.
“I thought the hill would suit him and Ross said he loved the ground and the hill. He’s a hardy horse and he’s going well.”
Dermot Weld sent out his eighth winner of the week when Silwana, the 2-5 favourite, fared best in the deteriorating conditions to take the Ladbrokes Red Day EBF Fillies Maiden
Jockey Pat Smullen said: “She stays very well — she ground it out. She was very workmanlike but she has a good attitude.”