Hint Of A Tint gave trainer David Wachman another big-race winner with victory in the Topaz Mile Handicap at Galway.
The main event on the second evening of the Festival at Ballybrit saw another brave bid by British raider Baraweez, with Brian Ellison’s raider making his move rounding the turn in a bid to better last year’s third.
Donnacha O’Brien looked like he might have made a race-winning move, but he could not quite shake off Hint Of A Tint (6-1) and Wayne Lordan, who improved on her sixth place from 12 months ago to win by half a length. Unsinkable was third.
Wachman said: “The strong gallop suited. They stopped in front of her and she battled well at the line. It’s a shame that Fran (Berry) couldn’t ride her, but the weight is a bit low for him and Wayne gave her a good ride.
“She’s best fresh so we took a chance at the start of the season and said we’d aim her at this. It was a good performance.
“She was second in a Guineas Trial so is Group Three-placed, but she lost her way a bit. I’ll see what the owner wants to do, but it’s possible that she could go back into Pattern company.”
Lordan said: “She traveled around nicely, picked up well and won well. She had good runs in the book and it was just a matter of getting everything right — Galway isn’t an easy place — but luckily for me she traveled well.
“When a horse is travelling like she was you can fit into any gap that comes in front of you. It’s when they’re not travelling, that’s when you land yourself in trouble. Luckily for me she traveled well and I was able to weave through a few horses and get there pretty easily.
“Just coming to the line she was just having a little puff and she was entitled to, having her first run of the year in a very competitive handicap
It’s nice to win a feature race here in Galway — I’ve never won it before so it’s nice.“
Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh did what they did on the opening evening of the as Long Dog rewarded favourite backers in the opening Topaz Novice Hurdle.
Bachasson had got the formidable duo on the scoreboard at the first time of asking on Monday and in Long Dog they look to have another potential Cheltenham candidate, although he gave his backers a slight scare along the way.
Always prominent just off the shoulder of Three Stars, Walsh’s mount took two out with a slight advantage, but was far from fluent in doing so.
Walsh was never flustered, however, and he charged clear going to the last, taking that flight well before grinding out a 10-length success.
Mullins said of the winner, who was returned at 1-2: “Ruby thought after the race that he should go up in trip and I loved the way he galloped all the way to the line.
“After the mistake he made, and to go up the hill the way he did, screamed that he needs a trip. I’m more than pleased with the way he responded to the mistake.
“This horse and the one last night (Bachasson) are two really good novices for this time of year.”
Empresario produced a performance full of guts to take the Latin Quarter Beginners Chase.
Matthew Smith’s 12-1 chance was given a fine ride from the front by Mark Enright, at one stage holding a big advantage on the field.
As the pack closed he looked like being swallowed but dug deep to hold all-comers, passing the line two lengths ahead of Guitar Pete.
Smith said: “His experience stood to him, and he jumped brilliant. Mark gave him a great ride. It’s great to get a winner here, and that’s my first at the Festival although I’ve only had a few runners.
“He wasn’t doing a stroke in front but when the other horses came to him, he kept on well. He’s entered up on Sunday, and we’ll have to have a look at it.”
Now Or Never routed the opposition in the Topaz EBF Fillies Maiden. The Michael O'Callaghan-trained youngster holds some smart entries and showed why in building on the promise of her debut second at Fairyhouse last month.
Rocketing away off the turn, the daughter of Bushranger was five and a half lengths too good for favourite Simannka.
O'Callaghan said of the 6-1 winner: "I always thought a lot of her, and she has big entries. She's in the Moyglare and the Debutante. She's a very nice filly.
"She appreciated a bit of juice in the ground as she's big, and anything she does this year will be a bonus.
"She travelled well, and stays seven furlongs in Galway, so a mile should be no problem. She's well very bred as she's out of a sister to Dream Ahead, and she is just short of 16 hands high."
Ibergman stayed on best of all in the Caulfieldindustrial.com EBF Maiden to make it two days to remember for Sheila Lavery.
The Co Meath trainer struck with her first runner at the Festival on Monday with Romiac and just 24 hours later repeated the trick with 8-1 chance Ibergman under Ronan Whelan, accounting for B Cosmos by a length.
Lavery said: “I think a few of my horses just needed a bit of cut in the ground. She’s a lovely-actioned filly, but may have been finding the ground just a bit too fast.
“A lot of my horses have been getting bad draws and I’d like to thank Eddie Lynam for his advice. He said don’t try to beat your draw and just ride your race.”
1st Long Dog (Ruby Walsh) 1-2 Fav
2nd Three Stars 12-1
3rd Patsio 20-1
1st Empresario (Mark Enright) 12-1
2nd Guitar Pete 11-4
3rd Steps To Freedom 9-1
1st Now Or Never (Emmet McNamara) 6/1
2nd Simmanka 13-8 fav
3rd Nodiak 33-1
1st Hint Of A Tint (Wayne Lordan) 6/1
2nd Baraweez 8/1
3rd Unsinkable 5/1
1st Ibergman (Ronan Whelan) 8-1
2nd B Cosmos 14-1
3rd Unyielding 3-1
1st Beau Satchel (Gary Halpin) 10-1
2nd Cairdiull 7-1
3rd War Anthem 20-1
4th Beat The Ballot 12-1