Ballybrit king Weld again makes hay with treble on opening night of meetingAugust 2, 2012 - 7:00am
ONE year on and he simply picks up where he left off. Dermot Weld turned out a phenomenal 17 winners at the 2011 Galway summer festival, and the uncrowned king of Ballybrit is clearly in no mood to relinquish his stranglehold on the action at Ballybrit.
A first day treble on Monday again underlined the Curragh based trainer’s incredible capacity to peak his string for the country’s biggest racing festival, with 11/1 shot Midnight Music handing Weld his seventh triumph in the featured Carlton Hotel Galway City Handicap.
For once, however, Weld wasn’t the main focus after another big race success at Ballybrit as 7lbs claimer Jane Mangan – a daughter of former Aintree Grand National winning trainer, Jimmy – made history by becoming the first women rider to land Monday evening’s feature,
Weld had deliberately booked the 18-year-old as the easy-to-back Midnight Music is a light framed filly and the new partnership clicked superbly around Ballybrit’s unique undulations in claiming the richest handicap in the country for amateur jockeys.
Mind you, that outcome was hardly obvious approaching the final furlong as the heavily backed favourite, Clarach, was travelling ominously well only to find little or nothing in the final 200 yards. In contrast, nothing was finishing stronger than Midnight Music which tackled the hill with gusto for a comfortable victory from Cry For The Moon – Derek O’Connor’s mount bursting clear of the toiling pack.
On an evening when no favourite obliged in front of a fine attendance of 17,710 – up 140 on the previous year – Weld wasted no time in getting off the mark. Teaming up with champion jockey, Ruby Walsh, the partnership saw Train Of Thought make virtually every yard of the running in the opening radissonhotelgalway.com & galwaybayhotel.com Novice Hurdle.
Walsh was at his tactical best in giving the hurdling debutant a clear sight of his obstacles and he quickly put the race to rest when Train Of Thought quickened clear on landing over the second last. The 9/4 chance had seven lengths to spare over Faustina Pius at the finish with the market leader and previously unbeaten, Discoteca, fading quickly on meeting the rising ground.
Weld was also on the mark in the claregalewayhotel.ie Maiden, a race he was winning for an incredible 26th time. Thunder Mountain may have finished well down the field on his only previous start, but that form was left well behind as Pat Smullen’s mount was always at the head of affairs before pulling clear for a four and a half lengths win from Don't Bother Me.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.