Dermot Weld expects the beautifully-bred Tahiyra to go on to bigger and better things after making a sparkling debut on day two of the Galway Festival.
The master of Rosewell House has made Ballybrit his own over the years and this daughter of Siyouni was sent off at 7-2 to make a successful start to her career in the Colm Quinn BMW Irish EBF Fillies Maiden.
The two-year-old is a half-sister to the trainer’s brilliant racemare Tarnawa, who finished third in the same race on her introduction in 2018 before going on to win three Group Ones and take second in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
It might be a little early to suggest Tahiyra can scale those heights, but she certainly looks to have inherited a good portion of her sibling’s ability judged on her six-and-a-half-length romp under Chris Hayes, prompting Paddy Power to give her a 20-1 quote for next year’s 1000 Guineas.
“She’d been working very well and I was pleased with her. She’s a slightly smaller edition than Tarnawa, her brilliant sister. She’s done everything right,” said Weld.
“At this stage she probably has more pace than Tarnawa, she’s by Siyouni so you’d expect that.
“Let’s hope she has the wonderful courage and constitution that Tarnawa had, who was a multiple Group One winner around the world for me.
“This filly is very talented in her own right. She has a lot of the characteristics of her sister, she’s very similar in many ways and she showed immediate talent.
“We’ll see how she comes out of her race, but she’ll go at stakes level next time.”
Weld also had news of stable star Homeless Songs, having opted to miss Royal Ascot with his Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine due to unsuitably quick ground.
“She couldn’t be better. She’ll wait and please God she’ll run in the Matron (at Leopardstown in September).”
The feature race of the evening, the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap, went to 6-1 shot Magic Chegaga.
Representing fledgling trainer Brian Duffy, the recent Curragh runner-up went one better under a power-packed rider from champion jockey Colin Keane and pick up the lion’s share of €120,000.
Duffy revealed the winner’s horsebox had broken down on the way to the racing: “We were travelling our two horses in two different boxes and one of them overheated so we ended up getting into a churchyard in Rochfortbridge and we had no choice but to throw them in together.
“I thought ‘this is going to go terribly wrong!’ I really could have done without it coming here for this race.
“I still can’t believe it has actually happened. I was just hoping she’d hold on and there wasn’t a late finisher coming to nab her, but she just kept on finding and she’s a brilliant filly.
“We had the champion (Keane) on board and he’s champion for a reason. He gave her a super ride, from that draw to get her in and get her settled in mid-division was super stuff.
“You couldn’t make it up, it’s unbelievable. When we bought her we were hoping she’d just win a race.
“The lads said they had around €15,000 to buy something (bought for €12,500) and it was during 2021 so it was actually online.
“I was bidding on my computer in between working. I was working from home for a logistics company doing customs clearance.
“We just have four in training, a restricted licence, and half my yard are running here tonight. It’s unbelievable to have one to run in this, never mind win it.
“It’s one of the highlights of the year for Flat trainers at Galway, the big Colm Quinn Handicap. It’s unbelievable to get it among all the real trainers, I’m only a minnow.”
Flaming Moon (11-1) clung on for a surprise victory in the Listed Colm Quinn BMW Novice Hurdle.
Tax For Max was the even-money favourite to supplement his maiden hurdle success at Punchestown a May, a race in which Flaming Moon fell at the sixth flight.
Matthew Smith’s charge has since finished last of nine in a Flat handicap at Killarney, but bounced back to form with a determined performance under Bryan Cooper, repelling Amir Kabir by half a length.
Tax For Max was ultimately a shade disappointing in fourth.
“He always showed plenty. He won a couple on the Flat and he had some nice placed form over hurdles,” said Smith.
“I was a bit hesitant to declare him, but I said he was entitled to take his chance and I’m delighted.
“For the ability I know he has and the ways he works he’s been a bit disappointing a few times. He’s fairly hard on himself unless you go on in front and a lot of the time you are pulling and try to settle him, but he’s probably better off galloping away.
“He’s in the mile handicap on the Flat on Thursday and we’ll see how he is.”
Enniskerry made every yard of the running to make a winning debut over fences for owner-trainer Barry Connell and jockey Sean Flanagan in the Latin Quarter Beginners Chase.
The 8-1 shot looked at the mercy of even-money favourite Midnight Run rounding the home turn, but found more once challenged and pulled clear late on to prevail by six and a half lengths.
Connell said: “We hit the bar with him last year when we were second to M C Muldoon in a novice hurdle here.
“You couldn’t be too confident coming here today as there were a lot of highly rated horses in it, but we felt he’d run a nice race as he was in super form at home and I’m not surprised he’s won.
“You’d be hoping he might be a Drinmore horse.”