Former Melbourne Cup runner-up Max Dynamite returned to winning ways at Killarney with victory in the Tote (Q.R.) Race.
The Rich Ricci-owned nine-year-old has been a fine servant to the Willie Mullins yard, and went within half a length of winning the ‘race that stops a nation’ in 2015 – also finishing third two years later.
A host of other fine efforts adorn his CV, including his third place in the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot last month, but he had last got his head in front when winning at this track in August 2017.
With main danger The King taken out on account of the ground, Max Dynamite was sent off at odds of 1-7 under the trainer’s son, Patrick, and was not troubled in beating Lustrous Light by three and three-quarter lengths.
The winning rider said: “That was very straightforward and it was great for him to get his head back in front, as he hasn’t won in about two years.
“He’s hard to place at this stage of his career. Jimmy Kelly led him up and has looked after him for many years and loves him.
“We’ll be trying to pot hunt with him and hopefully he qualifies to run in more amateur-rider races.”
Mullins had earlier been on the mark when 11-4 favourite Shoulda Lied came out on top in the Tote Handicap under Colin Keane.
Master Speaker showed a decisive turn of foot to land the feature Tote Handicap in emphatic style – giving Adrian McGuinness a birthday winner.
Chris Hayes bided his time on the nine-year-old, who has now booked his ticket to the Galway Festival.
“We are going to Galway with him,” said McGuinness of his 8-1 winner.
“There was a good pot of money here and we said we’d come and have a whack at it. The horse is in great form and he worked well the other day.
“I didn’t enter him in the Galway Mile because I didn’t think he’d get into it, so he goes for the seven (furlongs) on the Sunday and he’ll run in the 0-90 earlier in the week.
“He’s been a great servant and has slipped down a bit. He’s run solid races all year and deserved that.”
Hayes doubled up when bringing Aidan Howard’s Franklyn (11-1) with a well-timed run to collar Ellaat near the line in the 11-furlong Tote Handicap.