Thomas Edison lights up Galway Festival
The most valuable race of the tremendous Galway Festival, the Guinness Galway Handicap Hurdle, went the way of the well backed favourite Thomas Edison, ridden by the great Tony McCoy, a horse who appears to be getting better and better and who could be a serious contender for more big prizes when the 2014/15 jumps season gets underway in earnest in the autumn.
Carrying the famous green and gold colours of Ireland’s leading jumps owner JP McManus – colours carried to many famous successes including by McCoy in the 2010 John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on Don’t Push It – Thomas Eddison was the subject of a major gamble that saw his odds tumble from around 8/1 at the start of the week to an eventual SP of 7/2 favourite. This, despite the fact that the gelded son of Danehill Dancer was competing in one of the hottest handicap hurdles of the year, carrying a total prize fund of a whopping 250,000 euros,150,000 of which went the way of the winning connections.
McCoy gave his mount a typically well-judged ride, waiting patiently towards the rear of the field for much of the contest before making good headway at the fourth flight from home. When asked for his effort approaching the final flight Thomas Edison dashed through between horses to hit the front then stuck to his guns bravely, staying-on to score by three lengths from the Gordon Elliott-trained Bayan.
Much to the dismay of horse racing betting sites McCoy’s mount had shown a similarly willing attitude when landing a valuable 12-furlong handicap on the Flat at the Curragh on his previous start and has developed of late into a very useful dual-purpose performer. Although he has plenty more improvement to find before reaching the highest echelons over hurdles, there is little doubt that the Tony Martin-trained gelding looks one to follow and he might well have another big handicap prize in him come the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.