A snapshot of the growing dominance of a handful of trainers on the Irish National Hunt scene was again provided at Galway’s latest meeting on Tuesday.
For six of the seven races on the card were won by four of the country’s leading trainers with veteran handler Noel Meade and the sport’s rising star, Joseph O’Brien, each saddling a double.
Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead were also successful on their visit to Ballybrit, leaving only Templemore-based John Ryan to strike a blow for the less fashionable yards.
Mind you, Ryan’s long-time strategy of keeping his horses busy continues to pay off as Presenting Mahler, just 48 hours after finishing fourth over hurdles in Limerick, made light of those exertions in running out a brave winner of the featured Guinness Handicap Chase.
The seven-year-old mare made virtually all under Danny Mullins and just had enough reserves in the energy tank to withhold the late surge of Black Zero. Naturally, Ryan was delighted afterwards. “She’s a smasher and winter ground suits her. She’s a stuffy horse and the run in Limerick had her spot on for today.”
The in-form Noel Meade stable kicked off the action on soft ground at Ballybrit when 8/1 chance, The Rory Story, and Sean Flanagan upset odds-on favourite Poli Roi in the Mervue Maiden Hurdle.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.