Teed Up dug deep to cling on to victory in the Connacht Hotel (QR) Handicap, the feature event on day one of the Galway Festival.
Trained by Emmet Mullins and ridden by Raymond Barron, the six-year-old was sent off the 7-2 favourite for the two-mile-one-furlong affair after finishing second at Tramore on his most recent outing.
HMS Seahorse and Whisky Sour were to the fore turning for home, but Teed Up grabbed control with a couple of furlongs to run and had to keep finding for pressure as The Very Man produced a finishing burst.
However, Teed Up was not for passing, coming home half a length in front with Shajak a further half-length back in third and HMS Seahorse taking fourth.
Barron said: “It’s my first ride in this race. I’d no ride in it all week and Emmet rang me on Friday. It was like Christmas getting the call.
“He broke well and travelled very smoothly throughout the race. I was nearly there too soon turning in but he was going so well that I kind of had to kick on. He got to the front too soon but he was tough and was very game all the way to the line.
“Around Galway, riding for Emmet and the Mee family, you always have a chance and it’s nice that I could deliver for them today.
“I’m based with Charles Byrnes. I’m getting plenty of rides off Charles and am in a very privileged position and, I suppose as a result of that, I’m getting plenty of outside rides as well.”
Earlier on the card, Mystical Power (6-4 favourite) made a perfect start over obstacles in the Galwaybayhotel.com & TheGalmont.com Novice Hurdle.
Willie Mullins’ charge is bred to be a champion as a son of Galileo and the first foal of multiple Grade One winner Annie Power and he triumphed on his bumper debut at Ballinrobe in May.
Connections made a swift switch to hurdling with the four-year-old and he duly justified that confidence when cruising home by seven lengths in the hands of Mark Walsh.
Paddy Power make Mystical Power a 16-1 shot for both the Supreme and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdles at next year’s Cheltenham Festival and Mullins was certainly impressed.
He said: “That was a huge performance compared to his bumper performance. He likes jumping but there is a lot of improvement to come as he made at least three mistakes.
“Like his mother (who won on debut at Galway), he’s won here on his second run and hopefully he’ll be half as good as her.
“I’ll continue hurdling with him now. I don’t want to go back to the flat – I may do that next year with him. He looks like a horse that we might aim at the Royal Bond or something like that.”