Westerner Lady claims Ladbrokes Hurdle at Galway
Westerner Lady pulled out all the stops to land the feature race on day six of the Galway Races, the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle.
Misty Lady led for much of the contest and Ruby Walsh was happy to track her on the 3-1 favourite, only taking up the running on the turn into the home straight.
Supreme Vinnie and Totalize pulled upsides the winner after the final flight, but Walsh had evidently kept something in reserve and Willie Mullins’ mare pulled away again in the closing stages to beat Supreme Vinnie by half a length.
Totalize stayed on for third, just a neck further back, while Plain Talking was fourth after being squeezed for room on the home turn.
Mullins said: “She was very brave. She jumped well, stays well and will obviously stay further from the look of that.
“I think she carried a stone and five more than the second, and to be knocked over in the straight and come back, I thought it was very brave of her. She will probably go novice chasing now, I’m not sure if there is anything over hurdles for her now.
“She likes this ground, I’m not sure if she is a real winter ground mare.”
Earlier, trainer/jockey Denis Hogan bagged his first success of this year’s Galway Festival when Jack The Wire ran out a convincing winner of the Ladbrokes Mobile Maiden Hurdle.
The 8-1 chance had been well beaten at Tipperary earlier this month, but travelled sweetly into contention before striking for home at the second-last.
Black Ace was the only one to give Jack The Wire any worries in the home straight, but he was still three and a quarter lengths down at the line, with another seven-and-a-half-length gap back to Timing’severything in third.
Firey Speech defied top weight to land the An Pucan EBF Nursery Handicap for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen.
The Naas scorer travelled close to the pace set by Sir Dreamalot before Smullen asked him to go and win his race rounding the home turn.
He established a clear break on the chasing pack and while it was eroded slightly in the closing stages, Smullen kept the 11-4 favourite going to beat Sir Edwin Landseer by two lengths.
Hogan saddled his second winner of the afternoon when the Gary Halpin-ridden Tithonus refused to be pegged back in the Ladbrokes Red Day Handicap.
Course specialist Cairdiuil loomed up as a massive threat in the straight but Hogan’s 12-1 winner was not to be denied and kept going to prevail by three-quarters of a length.