Laughifuwant relishes Galway test in Ahonoora heat

Gerry Keane’s runner takes final day feature

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Laughifuwant led his rivals a merry dance in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Ahonoora” Handicap on the final day of the Galway Festival.

A field of 16 runners went to post for the 120,000 euro feature, with the Ado McGuinness-trained Saltonstall the 3-1 favourite to follow up his victory in Tuesday’s BMW Mile. He endured a troubled passage, however, and was never able to land a telling blow.

Gerry Keane’s Laughifuwant won a maiden at Galway last October, but returned to Ballybrit as a 20-1 shot, having unseated his rider on his latest appearance at Limerick in mid-June.

A smart start enabled jockey Seamie Heffernan to navigate his mount across the track from a wide draw and he steadily made his way to the front.

The challengers were queuing up rounding the home turn, but the four-year-old galloped all the way to the line to prevail by three-quarters of a length from On A Session.

Keane said: “The ground is the key to him. He grows another leg on this ground and won a maiden here on bottomless ground last year. The way he strides on that ground – he just loves it.

“We tried to sell him when he won his maiden. We had him as a breeze-up horse and couldn’t get him into the sales.

“He’d get a mile, but I’d say seven furlongs is probably his trip. We were going to run him in the Lincoln but didn’t have him ready in time.

“That’s my biggest winner in terms of prize-money. He’s owned by my wife Ester, and Fergus and Sandra Cumiskey. The Cumiskeys bred him.”

Paddy Twomey and Billy Lee combined to land the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Maiden with 7-2 shot Raven’s Cry.

Runner-up on her debut at Bellewstown a month ago, the daughter of Raven’s Pass went one better with a one-and-three-quarter-length success over Natural Power.

Twomey said: “Bellewstown was good for her. Like most of mine, she was a bit green the first day and she came forward from that.

“I’d say she’ll step up in grade now. She obviously qualifies for the final of this series, but she has loftier entries as well.

“She’s always shown me that she is a nice filly and I’d hope she can progress.”

Brothers Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien landed the JPK Fencing Handicap with 7-2 shot Linger – a winner over hurdles on Monday.

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