Brian Ellison plundered the Irish Stallion Farms EBF 'Ahonoora' Handicap for the third year in succession as Dream Walker flew home to get up late in the feature contest on the final day of the Galway Festival.
Tribal Path came off the reserves’ bench to give a bold sight out in front, but was collared by the Ger Lyons-trained Reckless Endeavour at the furlong marker.
The pack were closing, though, and Chris Hayes got the splits at the right time aboard Dream Walker (7-1), who sprouted wings and pipped Reckless Endeavour by a neck.
Tribal Path hung on for third, with Cailin Mor fourth, and the winner’s stable companion Baraweez, who scooped this big prize for the past couple of season, also close up.
North Yorkshire-based Ellison said: “They started racing from a fair way out and Chris used his head. He sat and then got all the breaks. He’s a class jockey.
“This horse had a bad draw on Thursday, but when he’s here we thought he might as well run. We let him out on Friday and he was bucking and kicking, and in great form.
“I thought Stipulate had the best chance but he got no run on the rail, and Baraweez just got caught wide, he had a bad draw.
“Five runs ago this horse was on the scrapheap. He’d a wind operation that didn’t work, and we said we’d give him one more run with a tongue strap. He finished second and has won two good races at home since. He has got more confidence now.”
Ellison also struck at the meeting with Our Kylie on Wednesday and added: “We’ve been here since Monday and we’ve had a great week.
“Every horse we’ve had here has run great, it’s been a good week.”
Camlann made it third time lucky with a determined display in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.
The Shark Hanlon-trained five-year-old finished third over hurdles on Monday evening before occupying the same position on the Flat 48 hours later.
Sent off at 5-1 for his latest assignment in the hands of Rachael Blackmore, Camlann knuckled down well to get the better of Afatcat by three-quarters of a length, with 7-2 favourite Dollar And A Dream the same distance away in third.
Hanlon said: “The first day was my fault as I didn’t put the hood on him, and his next run on the Flat he just didn’t get a clear run at the right time.
“He’s a galloper and stays well. I’m delighted for the Mee family (owners) and for myself but especially Rachael Blackmore as she has been knocking on the door all week and that means a lot to her.
“He’s a very genuine horse and will get a month off now.”
Garri Rua claimed an eventful Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle for trainer Garrett Power.
There were multiple fallers following a nasty incident at the second flight from the finish, while 11-8 favourite Sea Light was still bang in contention when tipping up at the last under Davy Russell, interfering with Oisin James leading to Blackmore being unseated.
Garri Rua, a 14-1 shot following some decent runs in defeat of late, kept out of trouble in the hands of Danny Mullins and galloped clear to score by six lengths from Bye Bye O Bye.
Mullins said: “Garrett does a good job as he’s not exactly straightforward.
“If Davy’s horse had challenged me on the run-in my horse would have pulled out more, although I can’t guarantee he would have won.”
Galway Plate runner-up Alelchi Inois went one better with a dominant performance in the At The Races Chase.
The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old’s task was made easier by the withdrawal of Road To Riches but he still had Plate fifth Clarcam to contend with.
The pair had outsider He Rock’s for company in a leading group of three until shaking him off on the run to the third-last, and slicker leaps at the final two carried Alelchi Inois clear.
Ruby Walsh did not have to break sweat on the 4-9 favourite, who coasted across the line with any amount in hand of Clarcam.