Coeur D’or swooped late to claim a head verdict in the featured Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap on day two of the Galway Festival.
Trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Chris Hayes, Coeur D’or was a winner on his penultimate run at Leopardstown, but he was allowed to go off a 14-1 shot in the handicap highlight.
The 18-runner contest proved typically competitive and it looked as though Dunum was going to take the win two furlongs out, only for No More Porter to battle his way to the front inside the distance.
However, Hayes had launched Coeur D’or down the outside and he grabbed the lead in the shadow of the post to take the prize in a photo, with Dunum a further three-quarters of a length back in third.
Weld said: “He is a very consistent horse, this was the plan and he delivered. He had been running very consistently all year and is a brave horse.
“I was worried about the ground as he is very effective on a slightly quicker surface. A mile is his trip but he was a very immature horse in his early days and took a long time to come to hand but patience paid dividends.
“He has two great owners in Stephen O’Connor and Mark Phelan and I’m delighted for them.”
Sharjah returned to the scene of one of his finest hours to make a seamless transition to fences in the Latin Quarter Beginners Chase.
Winner of the Galway Hurdle in 2018, he has gone on to become a multiple Grade One scorer, triumphing in the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting on four occasions.
He has also been second in two Champion Hurdles so had a clear class edge over his rivals, but he was making his debut over fences at the age of 10.
Always handy under Paul Townend, reunited with him for the first time since the 2021 Champion Hurdle, Sharjah jumped soundly throughout and came clear under no pressure to win by 11 lengths as the 1-4 favourite.
Mullins said: “He was very smooth and jumped like he did at home. Every time I schooled him, he always looked very capable and confident over fences and showed that today. If he wasn’t good, we wouldn’t have gone chasing with him, but he was so natural at home and did today what he has done at home.
“In today’s race he was meeting a lot less competition compared to what he had been meeting over hurdles for the past four or five years – none of those horses had ever run in a Grade One hurdle – and he enjoyed it.
“I imagine he’ll stay to winners’ races now and he would get nice ground for the Drinmore.”