Wild celebrations in west Waterford and Panama after the opening winner at Galway Races yesterday

Fair to say the Connery Family Syndicate got excited.

David Mullins on Miss Eyecatcher wins Miss Eyecatcher wins the opener at Galway with David Mullins on board. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

DAVY RUSSELL AND Henry De Bromhead combined to land the big one at the Galway Races yesterday when winning the Galway Plate with Balko Des Flos.

But there was no doubt which win was celebrated the most at the track in Ballybrit.

Miss Eyecatcher, trained by Roger McGrath and David Mullins on board, ran out a 14-1 winner in the opener in the Tote Irish EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle.

And it was easy to see how much the victory meant to the winning owners, the Connery Family Syndicate from west Waterford.

They got a bit excited afterwards.

Miss Eyecatcher was a winner in Tipperary and Listowel last year, before also triumphing in Wexford in April.

But this victory at Galway resonated more for the family syndicate of brothers Pádraig, Kieran and Niall, their mother Mary, uncle PJ and his son Brian, as the horse was originally owned by their late father John, a regular attendee at the Galway festival.

There was plenty joy on show in Ballybrit and one member of the syndicate Kieran was tuning in from Panama, where he is currently travelling.

“Our Dad passed away in 2014 and he left us the horses and we said we’d keep the horses going while we could,” revealed Padraig.

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David Mullins on Miss Eyecatcher David Mullins on Misseyecatcher (left) and Brian Hayes on Shaluna. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“He left us Miss Eyecatcher, he never got to see her running. But he’s up there today and he’s looking down on us and he’d be delighted she got over the line in Galway.”

The festival continues today at Galway with Ladies Day. The first race is off at 1.40pm with the feature race being the Guinness Hurdle.

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