Shane Shortall got a terrific late run out of Greatness to deny Tony McCoy on Golden Ticket in the €40,0000 Tote Jackpot Guarantee Handicap Hurdle at the Galway Festival.
Golden Ticket seemed certain to strike when he still held a handy lead over the final flight, but Greatness found plenty on the run up to the line to claim Christy Roche’s charge.
It looked like Greatness’s chance had gone when he made a bad mistake at the second last and he dropped back to about eighth place, but 7lb-claimer Shortall never gave up.
A better jump at the last gave him half a chance and he galvanised the Tony Martin-trained 4-1 favourite to get up in the dying strides and land the spoils by half a length. Magical Moon was third and Diamond’s Return fourth.
“He missed the second last with me. I was very lucky, a lot of horses would have come down, but I gave him chance to gather himself. When I gave him a couple of cracks, he took off and powered all the way up the hill,” Shortall told At The Races.
“I had AP (McCoy) in my sights and was thinking it’s going to be hard to get by that man, but in fairness to the horse, he pulled out all the stops for me and he got there well in the end.
“He made just the one mistake and jumped the others brilliantly. When I did go for him he picked up very well. The boss (Tony Martin) said this trip should be ideal for him and he was right.”
Most Peculiar held off the late challenge of Draco to claim the €100,000 Tote Pick6 Guarantee Maiden Hurdle, the opening event on day three at Ballybrit.
Trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend, 11-2 shot Most Peculiar was at the head of the field turning for home and he jumped the last with a narrow advantage over the Tony McCoy-ridden Draco.
While the runner up tried his best to catch Most Peculiar, the winner still held a three-quarter-length advantage at the line with favourite Tandem only third.
Mullins and Townend were notching their second winner of the week having scored with McKinley on Monday.
Townend said: “He was tough and brave. He learned a lot from the first day (when runner-up to King Leon at Ballinrobe) and after jumping a bit big over the first couple here, he warmed to it well.”
Cacheofgold found plenty after the last to win the Download The Tote Mobile App EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle.
Trained by Liz Doyle, Cacheofgold (12-1) was trailing Supreme Vic approaching the final flight in the two-mile heat, but she found plenty for pressure after the last.
Cacheofgold eventually pulled one and three-quarter lengths clear with Lilly The Lioness grabbing minor honours in third.
Doyle said: “She ran well in Wexford but she was a little ‘short’ as she’d had a growth removed from the back of her larynx.
“I felt the track here would suit as she’s a grand, hardy mare. I took a bit of punt running her back quickly but I felt she had an each-way chance. She got a beautiful, beautiful ride.”
Finian Maguire, 16-year-old son of trainer and former jump jockey Adrian Maguire, enjoyed a facile success on Whitey O' Gwaun in the Grab A Grand With Tote (Q.R.) Maiden.
Trained by Galway’s top trainer Dermot Weld, Whitey O’ Gwaun cruised into the lead before the home turn and pulled clear into a matter of strides as the 9-10 shot romped in by 14 lengths.
The pace-setting Little King Robin stuck on well to cling on to second place.