John Quinn’s British challenger Safe Voyage came from the clouds to claim top honours in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Ahonoora” Handicap at Galway.
A field of 16 runners went to post for the 100,000 euro feature on the final afternoon of the Festival, with Brian Ellison’s Baraweez and Dream Walker, formerly trained by Ellison but now with Jarlath Fahey, both bidding to win the race for a third time.
Safe Voyage was a 7-1 shot on his first competitive appearance since running away with a Haydock handicap in May and travelled well in midfield for much of the seven-furlong contest.
Ridden by Irish-based 7lb claimer Sean Davis, the five-year-old was still well back in the field rounding the turn for home, but devoured the hill once switched nearer the stands rail and got up to beat Danielsflyer by a neck.
Turbine was third, ahead of Master Speaker in fourth.
Sean Quinn, assistant to his father, said: “He won nicely at Haydock (in April), but we just haven’t had any rain in England since then, so we have been waiting and waiting.
“This is the first opportunity that he’s had on a little bit of softer ground.
“He had a lot to do as he went up 11lb after Haydock, but he’s clearly still improving and that was nice.
“He got a little niggling problem when he was younger, we have to look after him and he just needs a bit of soft ground as a result.”
He added: “That’s a nice prize to land. There are a few nice races in Ascot later in the year and the ultimate aim would be something like the Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day at Ascot.
“It’s worth a hell of a lot of money and you would have thought that you might get soft ground at that time of the year.
“He’s won a valuable pot at Haydock and an even more valuable one today, so he doesn’t owe us anything. He’s an out and out seven-furlong horse.”
Davis, 19, said: “The race went really well for me. He travelled well and when he got the gap he didn’t half quicken.
“I won a Premier Handicap at the Curragh before that was worth similar money, but that’s by far my biggest winner at Galway.”