Current Option cements Galway legacy to round off Summer Festival in style

It was another excellent day of racing to round off the 2022 festival

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Current Option

Current Option claimed a superb hat-trick by landing the last premier handicap of the week - the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Ahonoora’ Handicap – for the third successive year at Galway, writes Jack Lacey-Hatton.

One of the most popular winners of the week came on the final day of the Summer Festival, as the six-year-old kicked away with conviction in the final furlong and entered Ballybrit folklore.

The victory ensured trainer Ado McGuinness didn’t leave Galway empty handed, having failed to hit the target over the previous six days.

“It has worked out brilliantly,” he said. “I even had another second in the first race (with Lariat)

“I’m delighted, particularly for the staff, they’re brilliant. The lads work hard and there is a lot of preparation required for this week.

“It is not just me, this is for everybody who works at home.

“He was down to a proper weight, you need to get these horses down to that type of weight to win these races.

“He (Cian) gave him a great ride, he was drawn wide but did brilliant.”

Jockey Cian MacRedmond, who was also in the saddle for his win in this race 12 months ago, revealed he was always confident once he saw the ground.

“He ran a great race the other day,” said Cian. “That was a good blowout ahead of today.

“When I got here today and saw the tacky ground out there, I knew I would take some beating today.

“I was waiting for as long as I could behind the leaders, I went to the outside where the ground was nicer and he picked up very well.

“Full credit to Ado and the team for keeping me on this horse. It’s just phenomenal.”

Elsewhere, Gordon Elliott struck on the final day of the Festival as Vado Forte landed the Lord Hemphill Memorial Handicap Chase.

In a thrilling finish, Ross O’Sullivan’s Benefit Run looked likely to pip him as the duo headed into the business end of Sunday’s other big contest, ran over hurdles.

But the eventual winner battled harder to give the Call It What You LikeSyndicate a coveted Ballybrit winner.

Long-time leader January Jets looked a good bet for much of the two mile two furlong trip, but a bad mistake five from home meant he had to settle for fourth and opened the door for Vado Forte.

The win also ensured Jack Kennedy managed to get on the scoresheet this week at Ballybrit with his final ride of the festival.

“It has been a tough week,” added Kennedy. “So it is nice to get that now.

“I was hoping he’d just run well. He really had to dig deep because I thought he was going done.

“But he stuck his head down and galloped all the way to the line.”

In Sunday’s opener, odds-on favourite Teed Up kept it simple and picked up nicely, to secure a maiden win over hurdles at the seventh attempt in the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.

His trainer Emmet Mullins ended the week with three wins at Ballybrit.

I’m delighted, particularly for the staff - Ado McGuinness

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