Muzak delivers for MonroeAugust 7, 2012 - 8:33am
JOHN Monroe has been trying for years to saddle a winner at the Galway summer festival, but the city businessman finally broke his duck with lone-time stable favourite Muzak at Ballybrit last Friday evening.
The nine-year-old may have achieved only one win in his previous 27 runs to date, but Muzak has been a model of consistency this year, having finished third on his latest outing at Ballinrobe in mid-July.
Although a market drifter to 11/1 in the opening Guinness Handicap Hurdle on the card, Muzak was not without his chance and held a prominent position throughout the contest for amateur riders in the soft underfoot conditions.
Partnered by Katie Walsh, Muzak was driven clear around the home turn and had plenty in reserve in coming home six lengths clear of Carlowsantane to spark great scenes of jubilation in the unsaddling enclosure.
Owned by the well known publican family, the Monroes of Dominick Street, Muzak attempted a quick follow up in Sunday’s Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle, but the horse’s exertions nearly 48 hours earlier had clearly taken their toll.
Instead, victory went to another locally trained contender, rank 28/1 outsider Georgie, which was running in the colours of owner/trainer Martin Cullinane from Athenry.
The seven-year-old left his previous form way behind when collaring the well backed Tribes And Banner in the final 100 yards with favourite, Two In A Row, trained by Craughwell based Pat Kelly, never really travelling on the gluey ground.
Though there hadn’t been a locally trained winner at the Galway festival since 2009, the tide certainly turned for local handlers last week as apart from the wins for the Monroe and Cullinane yards, Craughwell’s Paul Gilligan turned out Wellforth to land the Galway Blazers Handicap Chase on Friday evening.
The Connacht Tribune Handicap Chase dominated Sunday’s card at Ballybrit and it saw the biggest margin winner of the week long festival when bottom weight and 10/1 chance Paddy O Dee routed his rivals by 28 lengths in making every yard of the running.