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Road To Riches runs Galway Plate rivals ragged

Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 20:13 | Comments

Road To Riches was a facile winner of the feature race at Galway
Road To Riches was a facile winner of the feature race at Galway

Road To Riches earned trainer Noel Meade a first ever win in thetote.com Galway Plate as the seven-year-old ran out a bloodless winner of the feature race on the third day of the Galway Festival at Ballybrit under talented 7lb-claimer Shane Shortall.

There were several casualties in the valuable handicap chase as  Shortall opted to keep his mount in a prominent position throughout the two-and-three-quarter-mile contest.

Lord Ben kept 14-1 shot Road To Riches company for most of the race, but lost his pitch at the business end as the Meade inmate, owned by Gigginstown House Stud, cruised away from the field in the closing stages.

Burn And Turn (16-1) made solid late progress to take second place 11 lengths behind the emphatic winner with Balnaslow (9-1), also owned by Gigginstown, third. Spring Heeled (10-1) was fourth.

It was a chance ride for Shortall, who picked up the mount after Ger Fox broke his collarbone in a fall at Wexford on Friday.

Among the horses not to complete the course were Alderwood, Kid Cassidy, Vulcanite and Terminal.

Shortall said afterwards: "That was brilliant, unbelievable! I got a dream spin off him the whole way around - after the third fence, I never saw another horse.

"He's as genuine as you could meet, he was brilliant. There was nothing coming to edge him on but he still galloped all the way to the line for me.

"I rode an E18,000 handicap winner two weeks ago and I thought that was brilliant, but to win the Galway Plate is the stuff of dreams.”

Meade admitted the race had been the target for his charge since he won at Punchestown back in May.

He said: "That was the plan since Punchestown. He went a fair gallop but he was always comfortable.

"I think that was Shane's first ride for me. Ger (Fox) would have been riding him put for breaking his collarbone, but that's racing.

"That's the only one of the big races (at Galway) that I haven't won. I've been second in it I think three or four times. I'm absolutely thrilled as the Plate is something you want to win.

"I'm sure the handicapper is not going to be too nice to him after that, he won so easy. I'm sure he's a Graded horse, there is no doubt about that. His handicapping days might be over after that. Good ground is essential."

Shortall got a terrific late run out of the Tony Martin-trained Greatness (4-1 favourite) earlier on the card to deny Tony McCoy on Golden Ticket in the 40,0000 Euros Tote Jackpot Guarantee Handicap Hurdle.

Cacheofgold (12-1) found plenty after the last to win the Download The Tote Mobile App EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle while Most Peculiar (11-2) landed the 100,000 Tote Pick6 Guarantee Maiden Hurdle.

Dermot Weld made it five for the week with both Whitey O'Gwaun and Brooch obliging at short odds.

The trainer teamed up with Finian Maguire, 16-year-old son of trainer and former jump jockey Adrian Maguire, for a facile success with Whitey O' Gwaun in the Grab A Grand With Tote (Q.R.) Maiden.

The 9-10 shot romped in by 14 lengths and Maguire said: "Unbelievable. It's the stuff of dreams riding for Dermot Weld in Galway.

"It was very straight forward. He travelled very well and coming up the hill they were all hard at work and I was still on the bridle. You can't ask for more than that, he did it very easily."

Weld said: "He did it well. He got a nice ride by Finian. He's only 16 but I thought he rode him extremely well.

"It probably wasn't the greatest of races, but all he could do was win.

"His father Adrian rode me a Galway Plate winner on General Idea in 1993, so it was very fitting that his very promising son Finian should ride a winner here for me."

Brooch (4-9 favourite) then made short work of her rivals in the Tote Return All Profits To Irish Racing Maiden, breezing home by nine and a half lengths in the hands of Pat Smullen.

Weld said: "She's a lovely filly, a big, raw, green filly who's been a slow learner, but patience pays dividends.

"I think she will be a mile-and-a-quarter filly in time. She won't do a lot of racing this year, but hopefully we can get a bit of black type for her. I think she will make up into a Stakes filly."

There was a nasty incident early in Whitey O'Gwaun's race when Sarah Lynam was unshipped from Break My Mind, trained by her father Edward.

The 7lb claiming rider was reported to be conscious and taken to hospital for lower back X-rays.

Cairdiuil (9-1) made it two wins and three placings from six efforts at Galway when landing a punt in the Tote Trifecta Rollover Handicap under Wayne Lordan.

Winning trainer Iggy Madden said: "I love to win races here, Ballinrobe or at Sligo.

"He's entered again on Sunday but he probably had a hard enough race there. We'll just have to see how he comes out of this."

Sophie's World (14-1) was on the mark for trainer Kevin O'Donnell and jockey Sean Corby in the Bet Online At thetote.com Handicap.

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