Artful Martin wins at Galway
Last Updated: 01/08/14 8:58pm
A round-up of the latest action from the Galway Festival, where Artful Artist put Tony Martin on the scoresheet again
Tony Martin's fantastic Galway Festival continued as talented apprentice Sean Corby conjured a late run out of Artful Artist to land the Guinness Handicap.
The County Meath-based trainer, who had nine winners at last year's Festival, is enjoying another superb week at the Ballybrit circuit, with Quick Jack, Greatness and Galway Hurdle hero Thomas Edison all finding the target before Artful Artist's lucrative triumph brought up the four-timer.
The five-year-old was an 8/1 shot having let down favourite backers with a poor run over hurdles on Monday, but showed his true colours back on the level.
Show Court (11/4 favourite) looked sure to provide Dermot Weld with another Festival winner when quickening clear off the home bend, but Artful Artist mowed him down late in the day and was ultimately well on top as he passed the post a length and a half clear.
Martin said: "What a ride from Sean. He was like (Mick) Kinane or (Johnny) Murtagh!
"The horse disappointed here on Monday night. Maybe he just doesn't have the stomach for hurdles.
"If he hadn't have run on Monday, you'd have really fancied him today on his previous form. He was sound on Tuesday and Wednesday, so we decided to let him take his chance and fortunately it's paid off."
Aranhill Chief clinched his second victory in little over 24 hours after a thrilling climax to the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase.
Having opened his account over fences in a beginners chase on Thursday, Stephen Mahon's seven-year-old was a 7/1 shot turned out quickly under a penalty for this valuable event.
There were plenty of casualties along the way, with 2012 Galway Plate hero Bob Lingo sadly suffering a fatal injury, but a handful of horses remained in with a chance of victory rounding the home turn.
Aranhill Chief committed first in the rain-softened ground and clung on grimly in the hands of Paul Townend, repelling the fast-finishing Usuel Smurfer by a head.
Mahon said: "It's one of the hardest decisions I've had to make. I said if it rained he was not running as he loves to rattle off the ground, but he pulled out sound this morning and had a swim to loosen him out.
"I said after he won over hurdles in Bellewstown that he could be a Galway Plate horse some day and hopefully that's what he'll be."
Aranhill Chief's victory was the second winner on the night for Townend and his fifth of the Festival so far.
The former champion jockey kicked off the evening with a power-packed ride aboard Maxim Gorky in the Guinness Handicap Hurdle.
Representing the Galway Plate-winning owner-trainer combination of Gigginstown House Stud and Noel Meade, Maxim Gorky was a 12/1 shot to snap a losing run dating back over two years and swooped late to claim the prize by half a length from 11/4 favourite Orgilgo Bay.
Meade puts the improvement in the form of his string down to a change of water supply after he found a well he has used for years in his yard, for himself as well as his horses, had become contaminated.
Meade said: "My brother Ben just texted me there to say we'll have to start bottling that water!
"He didn't really jump that well, but he got some peach of a ride. He's a horse with loads of ability and he's got some pedigree. He's out of a half-sister to Galileo.
"He's on the list for Doncaster (sales) and whether he goes or not now I don't know."
Fit For The Job carried the colours of JP McManus to an emphatic victory in the Guinness 17:59 European Breeders Fund Median Auction Maiden under Fran Berry.
David Wachman's 11/8 favourite was following in the hoof prints of his full-brother Hidden Oasis, who won the corresponding race at last year's Festival for the same connections.
Wachman said: "Like his brother last year, he liked the ease in the ground. He did it quite well.
"He was a bit raw when he was asked to go forward. He'd be adaptable enough trip-wise, he could go six or seven (furlongs)."