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Minella Beau makes it a hat-trick of Galway victories for Mullins

Mr Adjudicator, meanwhile, won the feature race at Ballybrit on Friday.

It was another good day for Willie Mullins in Galway.
It was another good day for Willie Mullins in Galway.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

YOU HAVE HEARD of horses for courses, but how about horses for dates?

Step forward, Minella Beau.

As commentator Jerry Hannon said, he is a different horse around Galway as he just held off the persistent front-runner Icantsay in the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase on Friday.

It is the third consecutive year the horse has won at the Galway Festival and all three victories have been gained on 2 August.

It was far from plain sailing after he looked like going away and winning well under Paul Townend when taking it up shortly after jumping the final fence.

Instead, the runner-up and long-time leader Icantsay rallied strongly and the winner had to be equally tough to prevail by half-a-length with two lengths back to Mine Now, who was filling third for the second straight year.

Minella Beau was the eighth win for Willie Mullins and a fourth for the Mee family at this year’s festival.

Mullins said: “I think the jumps he put in at the dip both circuits was the winning of the race. That was the difference.

“I thought the second horse put up a huge performance from the front. If he’d have jumped those jumps as well as we did I think you’d have seen a different result.

“We’re very pleased and, being Annette Mee’s horse, a lot of his year will be planned around Galway. He’d have to improve a lot to get into next year’s Galway Plate.”

Mullins made it nine for the festival when Kevin Manning partnered Mr Adjudicator to a forceful victory in the feature Guinness Handicap.

The horse enjoyed no luck in running in the amateur handicap on Monday evening so Manning took no chances on the son of Camacho, driving him to the front off the home bend and finding enough from there to win convincingly.

“Kevin was very strong and made up his mind for him in the dip,” said Mullins. “He’s had a long time without a break so we’ll see what’s coming up for him and whether we give him a break or not.

“We’ve campaigned him hard this year and hopefully there’s some improvement in him over hurdles.”

- Brian Sheerin; for more visit the Racing Post

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