Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
PA Jazzaway ridden by jockey Conor McNamara (right) wins the Guinness Handicap Hurdle.
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Jazzaway another big winner for Willie Mullins at Galway
And plenty to celebrate for Paul and Jack Gilligan.

JAZZAWAY GOT UP in the dying strides to give Willie Mullins another feature race winner at Galway in the Guinness Handicap Hurdle.

Having already achieved the notable double of landing the Galway Plate with Royal Rendezvous and the Galway Hurdle with Saldier, Mullins continued his dominance of the meeting on day five.

Only fifth turning into the straight, Jazzaway (9-1) looked to have plenty to do under Conor McNamara – who already had one winner under his belt on the day – as Western Victory made his bid for home.

Jazzaway found plenty on landing after the last, however, and was always getting there, ultimately winning by a head.

Mullins said: “I told the owner she wasn’t going to run this week as she was lame the other day, but whatever happened, 24 hours later, she seemed fine and then she comes out and does this.

“It was minor but at the time it looked major, especially for Galway week and she also lost a shoe today. She is brave and has now won a handicap in Punchestown and comes here, going out in trip, and wins another handicap.

“There wasn’t much else for her after Punchestown but if you want to have a go at big prize-money, you’ve got to do that.

“Conor gave her a great ride and his 3lb (claim) obviously counted.

“She has a lovely pedigree, is a sister to Briar Hill and I don’t think we’ll run her back too soon. We’ll see where the next big prize-money race is and I don’t know if she’ll go jumping fences or not.

“We’re very happy with what she’s done and she has done more than we ever thought she would.”

Paul Gilligan and his son Jack have also had a week to remember, and they landed a second winner as Born By The Sea rewarded strong market support in the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase.

The 10-1 shot was one of a host in with a chance at the last and he emerged from the pack having never been far off the pace under his young rider, who is excellent value for his 7lb claim.

Kicking for home, the seven-year-old had enough in hand to see off all-comers, chief among them Henry de Bromhead’s 5-1 favourite Popong.

Gilligan senior said: “We were lucky to win this race before with good old Barry Geraghty on Wellforth and this is magic. We’ve had a double for the week, were unlucky not to win the second race and we own the horse.

“He ran Monday evening and we decided to leave the tongue-tie off him today. He is a mighty warrior, he owes us nothing.

“He always runs a solid race and the Kerry National is a possible, why not. He had a fantastic run when third at Listowel in June.

“I’ll dedicate the win to a good friend of ours, Mandy Nolan, who passed away and we were at her funeral before we came here. It was a sad day earlier watching Mandy going, but this is fantastic.

“Today is a family day and days like today don’t happen too often.”

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Denis O’Regan was seen at his very best as Arcadian Sunrise denied Bua Boy in the valuable Guinness Galway Tribes Handicap Hurdle, to give connections ample compensation for missing the Galway Hurdle.

Bua Boy looked to have sealed the deal under Denis Hogan, bidding for his second winner of the festival in the saddle, but O’Regan rolled back the years.

Riding the 5-1 chance for John Queally, O’Regan managed to conjure up a real sprint finish from his mount, getting up to win by half a length with the pair five lengths clear.

“We were disappointed not to get into the Galway Hurdle (second reserve) so it was great to win today and he has only been out of the frame twice in 14 runs. He has been a lucky horse for us,” said Queally.

“Denis was at his best there. They went a bit steady early on, but a good run two miles is his job.

“He’ll go up a bit for that again and there’s always the chasing route and also the Flat route. There’s a two-mile Flat handicap for him in York, but it is 18 days away so might come too soon. He’ll mix it and has his job done.”

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