The evergreen 12-year-old Prince Rudi provided Kildare trainer Stephen Nolan with one of his biggest wins as a racehorse trainer by landing the feature €45,000 Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle on Saturday at the Galway festival.
Sent off at odds of 20-1 and ridden by Ian McCarthy, Prince Rudi held off the challenge of Shanpallas by just a half a length.
“He’s a model of consistency,” Stephen Nolan said. “He’ll run in the Kerry National if he gets in and the Paddy Power at Leopardstown over Christmas. If all goes to plan he’ll have the Irish National as his long-term target.
“I thought he had a serious chance coming here today and the rain came at the right time. If the rain didn’t come well then he wouldn’t have run.
“This is only my third ever runner at Galway. I had two runners here last year and I had two seconds. This is my first winner, so two seconds and a winner is not a bad record,” he concluded.
Clonard Street was another surprise winner at odds of 20-1 in the ‘This Is The Ladbrokes Life’ European Breeders Fund Maiden for trainer John McConnell and jockey Gary Carroll.
“If this fella hadn’t run well I’d have been in trouble as he was beating all my other two-year-olds,” McConnell said.
“He was working well with older horses. He never wins his gallop by far and Gary said he was pulling up in front. He was green and also jumped the road.
“I’d say it takes a good horse to win here first time out. He won in spite of the ground, he wants better ground. I’m hoping he’ll be running in other colours next time, but that I’ll get to keep him. If David Redvers asked me to keep him I’d be more than delighted!
“I think he’s a good horse and if he was with a more prominent trainer they would be saying how promising he was,” he added.
Meanwhile, the winner of the Ladbrokes Lady In Red Competition was Cathy Dillon from Westport in County Mayo. She walked away with a €500 L.K Bennett voucher along with €500 in Ladbrokes vouchers. Former Irish international soccer star Kevin Kilbane judged the winner of the prize.
The day’s total attendance figures were 13,149 as opposed to last year’s 12,925.
Tote Turnover: €528,385 (2014) €390,630 (2013)
Bookmakers Turnover: €854,321 (2014) €877,587 (2013)