Chief takes charge at Galway
Last Updated: 31/07/14 11:27pm
A review of the rest of Thursday's action from the Galway Festival, where Aranhill Chief won under Denis O'Regan.
Trainer Stephen Mahon and jockey Denis O'Regan teamed up to land the opening event on day four of the Galway Festival as Aranhill Chief claimed top honours in the GuinnessPlus App Beginners Chase.
The seven-year-old was a 12/1 shot, having snapped a year-long losing run over hurdles at Bellewstown in early July, and his jumping impressed as he held off the challenge of Thomond by two lengths.
But the race will perhaps be best remembered for a remarkable recovery by dual champion jockey Davy Russell.
Russell was catapulted into the air when his mount, Vaxalco, made a bad mistake four fences from the finish.
And though the rider landed on the horse sideways, he somehow managed to get back on to the saddle and steer the grey home to finish fourth.
Mahon said: "The horse is in the Galway Blazers tomorrow and we'll see how he is."
Willie Mullins and Paul Townend secured their third winner of the week as Alelchi Inois readily completed a hat-trick in the Guinness Harp Novice Chase.
The six-year-old was an 8/11 favourite following recent triumphs at Tramore and Killarney and drew clear of Howwoulduno with the minimum of fuss.
"He's a huge horse and you'd think he'd like a bit of give in the ground, but he loves this fast ground and he was impressive," said Mullins.
"He seems to have a lot of scope and a lot of ability, but he is ground dependant.
"We'll keep going as long as we can. I would imagine we'll try and find a novice for him in Killarney and maybe Listowel if the weather holds."
Hasanour, trained by Mick Halford and ridden by Shane Foley, edged ahead in a thrilling climax to the Guinness Time Handicap.
Stretaw (5/1) came through to throw down a strong challenger for favourite-backers in the closing stages, but the 9/1 scorer passed the post a head to the good, with Shalamzar spotted making good late progress to finish third.
Halford said: "It all worked out well as it opened up nicely for him.
"It's been a nightmare week for us until this but this horse is settling better and has plenty of pace.
"He can step back up in trip again and he'd get another furlong."
Dalkova (13/2) made virtually every yard of the running to land the Arthur Guinness EBF Corrib Fillies Stakes.
Dermot Weld's Tested was all the rage as the 8/11 favourite, with her only defeat from four previous starts coming when sixth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.
Tested tracked the Johnny Murtagh-trained Dalkova into the home straight, but she was unable to reel in Niall McCullagh's mount, who clung on to claim the Listed prize by half a length. Colour Blue was third.
Murtagh said: "It's hard work being a trainer and the winners are not as plentiful and they don't come as often.
"Andrew (Tinkler, owner) has always had great faith in this filly and I really fancied her.
"I knew she'd get up the hill really well and she's very tough and game - a typical Galileo.
"Seven furlongs or a mile is her trip and she'll be stepped up to Group Three company now."
Desertmore Stream, capably partnered by Brian O'Connell, then ran out a length-and-a-quarter winner of the Guinness Novice Hurdle for the Philip Fenton-Gigginstown House Stud axis.
Denis Hogan's Ridestan (7-4 favourite) was an all-the-way scorer in the Guinness Surge Handicap while the concluding Guinness Legacy Flat Race was won by Shark Hanlon's 6-4 favourite Clondaw Farmer, who held Blueprint Bob by a short head.