Weld ends festival just as he started


Galway Festival: The Galway Festival came to a close the way it began with Dermot Weld in the winner's enclosure 10 times in all at Ballybrit this week.

The master of Rosewell House saddled a four-timer on Monday when the seven-day festival got under way and while there was only one winner yesterday, it still took his tally for the week to 10.

It was the turn of Suailce to do the business in the Mercer Hotel EBF Fillies Maiden after finishing second on her previous four racecourse appearances.

Sent off the 4-5 favourite, Pat Smullen, notching up his sixth winner and the leading Flat jockey crown in the process, nudged her out to beat Moonlight Sapphire by eight lengths.

"Having winners earlier in the week just settled the jitters and it was nice to get on the board early, you can just concentrate on riding your horses then," said Smullen.

"We've had one or two little blips along the way but you will always have that.

"It's not easy to win races here, the races are very competitive, especially some of the maidens, these are horses that we are going to be looking forward to the future with. It's very competitive."

Sam Jones, a 10lb claiming apprentice attached to Kevin Prendergast's yard, landed by far the biggest win of his fledgling career when Almass (12-1) won the Michael McNamara & Co. Builders Dublin & Galway Handicap by two lengths.

Welsh-born James said: "That's only my second winner and it was my first ride at Galway.

"I was lucky to get the ride in the race and I got the breaks when I needed them. You need a horse that travels and you need to quicken up the hill if you can.

"At the start of this season I had a very bad fall on my first ride (at Dundalk), but the boss (Prendergast) has been very good to me.

"I'm looking to ride as many winners as I can and ride out my claim as quickly as possible."

Thomond O'Mara saddled a 47-1 double as Banna Man (5-1) ran out a comfortable winner of the Corrib Village Beginners Chase and Senators Alibi (7-1) won the Parknasilla Hotel Handicap.

O'Mara said of Banna Man: "This horse has plenty of class but he's a bit of an enigma.

"He jumped well so we'll stay chasing for now. I'll look for a novice chase next, possibly at Tralee so his owner can see him."

Paddy Flood was aboard Banna Man and he doubled up with Darenjan (5-1) in the Cork International Airport Hotel for John "Shark" Hanlon, who said: "He ran a cracker here on Tuesday when the ground was a bit tacky for him, he much preferred the faster ground today.

"The plan was not to hit the front too soon, but Paddy said he had no choice but to go on when he did.

"He'll make a lovely chaser, but I think we'll wait until next year before sending him over fences."

Galway Results

1.45 Corrib Village Beginners Chase 
1st 2 Banna Man (IRE)  5-1 
2nd 11 Loup Du Saubouas (FR)  10-3 F 
3rd 8 Musical Melody (IRE)  10-1
Winning Trainer T J O'Mara
Winning Jockey P W Flood
Distances 2 1/2l, 10l

2.15 Cork International Airport Hotel Handicap Hurdle 
1st 14 Darenjan (IRE)  5-1 
2nd 15 Dream Champion  7-2 F 
3rd 1 Halla San  10-1 
4th 3 Prince Erik  8-1 
Winning Trainer J J Hanlon
Winning Jockey P W Flood
Distances 6l, 2 1/2l, nk
Runners 19 ran
Non runners 8, 21, 22, 23
Runners 18 ran

2.45 Tara Towers Hotel Handicap Hurdle
1st 6 Laura's Light (IRE)  9-1 
2nd 3 Ah Ya Boy Ya (IRE)  9-2 F 
3rd 9 El Jo (IRE)  20-1 
4th 1 Leg Spinner (IRE)  7-1 
Winning Trainer D T Hughes
Winning Jockey I J McCarthy
Runners 17 ran
Non runners 10

3.15 M.McNamara & Co Builders Dublin Handicap (Premier)
1st 12 Almass (IRE) 12-1 
2nd 2 Capt Chaos (IRE) 8-1 
3rd 9 Russian Empress (IRE) 9-1 
4th 15 Fit The Cove (IRE) 33-1
Winning Trainer K Prendergast
Winning Jockey S James
Unpl. Fav Thoughtless Moment 5-1 F
Runners 16 ran
Non runners 17, 18, 19

3.45 Parknasilla Hotel Handicap
1st 11 Senators Alibi  7-1 
2nd 9 Dafaroun (IRE)  6-1 F 
3rd 18 Denanto (IRE)  14-1 
4th 12 Salishan (IRE)  14-1 
Winning Trainer T J O'Mara
Winning Jockey J A Heffernan
Distances hd, 1 3/4l, hd
Runners 16 ran

4.15 Mercer Hotel EBF Fillies Maiden
1st 11 Suailce (IRE)  4-5 F 
2nd 8 Moonlight Sapphire  4-1 
3rd 10 Riversfield Rose (IRE)  50-1 
Winning Trainer D K Weld
Winning Jockey P J Smullen
Runners 10 ran
Non runners 2

4.45 Montrose Hotel (Pro-am) INH Flat Race
1st 1 Caim Hill (IRE)  10-1 
2nd 6 Frascati Park (IRE)  11-4 F 
3rd 3 Otay Kawn (IRE)  4-1 
Winning Trainer P Fenton
Winning Jockey Mr B T O'Connell
Distances 3/4l, 7l
Runners 14 ran