Edison lights up Galway
Tony McCoy steered hot favourite Thomas Edison to a popular victory in the Guinness Galway Hurdle.
The Tony Martin-trained seven-year-old disappointed in the race last summer in atrocious conditions, but having warmed up for a second bid with victory on the Flat at the Curragh, he was a 7-2 market leader on faster ground.
Thomas Edison galloped through the €250,000 contest with panache and began to move into contention jumping the second flight from the finish.
He joined the front-running Fergal and the well-fancied Bayan rounding the home turn and the three were virtually in line at the top of the short straight.
However, Thomas Edison clearly had more to give than his rivals and after skipping over the final hurdle, he was pushed out to collect by three lengths.
Bayan ran a fine race to fill the runner-up spot, with The Game Changer and Hisaabaat third and fourth respectively.
He said: "He was a bit slowly away but he got a great run around under Tony and got the run of the race.
"Thankfully it all worked out well. I've never won the Galway Hurdle before. It was on my to-do list so I'm delighted.
"I think Tony had the horse in tremendous form so well done to everyone connected with him."
McCoy, whose other Galway Hurdle victory came aboard the Aidan O-Brien-trained Toast the Spreece in 1997, said: "He was very professional.
"He jumped very well and he travelled very well.
"It's like any big handicap - you need a horse with a bit of class.
"He's probably got great confidence from winning on the Flat, it's helped him no end.
"It's a good day for the horse to get into a winning habit."
Martin said: "This has to compare right up there with my best wins ever.
"He's a horse I put my neck on the line with, I used to own part of him myself before he ever ran.
"We put him to a lot of people, saying that he was a good one and I'm so happy the right people got him and it worked out.
"I always thought he'd win a race like this or the Cesarewitch and hopefully he is half-way there."