Galway Races: Tony Martin lands big double on day five

Golden Spear and Heartbreak City score for trainer at Ballybrit

Heartbreak City ridden by Donagh Meyler (left) beats St Stephens Green (centre) and Mighty Concorde (right) to win the Guinness Handicap Hurdle during day five of the Galway Festival in Ballybrit.  Photograph: PA Wire

Heartbreak City ridden by Donagh Meyler (left) beats St Stephens Green (centre) and Mighty Concorde (right) to win the Guinness Handicap Hurdle during day five of the Galway Festival in Ballybrit. Photograph: PA Wire

 

Tony Martin produced a masterful training performance as Golden Spear came out best in a thrilling finish to the feature Guinness Handicap on the fifth day of the Galway Festival.

Queen Alphabet kicked for home on the bend but was reeled in by Repeater who, in turn, was collared by 100-30 favourite Golden Spear and Leigh Roche.

Repeater would not go down without a fight, while Abraham lunged late down the outside, but Golden Spear, who was returning from a nine-month absence, had enough in the tank to keep going for a half-length triumph.

Roche said: “It’s a great training performance, I wanted to keep saving a bit as he was off for so long but when Tony has one right they’re very tough to beat.

“It was getting messy on the inside, so I switched and kept it simple and he ran all the way to the line.”

Martin, who landed a valuable pot over hurdles with Heartbreak City earlier on the card, said: “He ran a blinder in this race last year and was just not good enough for Clondaw Warrior.

“A month ago I wouldn’t have considered running him, but he’s been coming there in the last fortnight and has started to shine.

“He’s not a big horse, but could go back over hurdles.”

Galway Plate-winning jockey Donagh Meyler enjoyed further success at Ballybrit when getting Heartbreak City up in the Guinness Handicap Hurdle.

The 3-1 favourite travelled strongly but was one of seven or eight in contention approaching the final flight, and he needed a run.

A gap appeared shortly after he landed and Meyler forced his way through it, with Heartbreak City showcasing an impressive change of gear to account for St Stephens Green by a length.

Martin said: “He was unlucky here last year, and is owned by great lads. Donagh rode him with confidence. He’s had a good week winning the Plate, and has really come of age tonight with the ride he gave him.

“He’s had a lot of issues and doesn’t take a lot of racing. We’ll see how he comes out of this but there are races like the Ebor and the Cesarewitch. He has plenty of options. He’s not as good over hurdles as he is on the Flat.”

Part-owner Aidan Shiels, who has enjoyed plenty of success with Martin-trained horses like Benefficient in the past, made the trip over from New York.

Lost In Silence built on her debut effort to take the Guinness 17:59 EBF Median Auction Maiden.

The Dermot Weld-trained daughter of Holy Roman Emperor was an encouraging runner-up on her Tipperary introduction and was the 11-8 favourite to go one better.

Pat Smullen settled her in second before going head to head with the front-running Delegating from a fair way out, and she knuckled down to well to gain the spoils by a half a length.

Weld said: “She did it well, and it was a very good ride from Pat. The draw was a concern, and he did well to get over from stall 10.

“She’s a tough, genuine filly, and will go for a mile nursery. She’s very honest and sound, and was very suitable for the race and the track.”

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