Tony Martin revelled as Quick Jack justified the ante-post support of his quest for Galway Hurdle success with a commanding win at Ballybrit on Thursday.
Quick Jack, ridden by Denis O’Regan went off at 9/2 for Ireland’s richest hurdles race and they moved into contention at the third last.
Stablemate Thomas Edison, winner of the race 12 months ago, looked the biggest danger but Barry Geraghty’s mount crashed out at the final obstacle leaving Quick Jack to scamper clear for the win.
Martin was delighted with the manner in which his charge had travelled through the race and identified October’s Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket as a potential target.
“From a long way out you were just keeping fingers crossed nothing would go wrong as you could see he had a big shout,” Martin said.
“He had been very consistent all year and ran very well at Cheltenham when the ground was a bit soft.
“We’ll sit on the fence for a while, but the Greatwood Hurdle or the Cesarewitch are options.”
Quick Jack had two-and-a-half-lengths to spare over the Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite at the line.
Having shown he can ready a horse for a repeat success with Thomas Edison going close in the Galway Hurdle, Artful Artist is a 9/1 chance for Martin in the Guinness Handicap he landed 12 months ago with Fran Berry booked to ride this evening.
In the final race on Friday’s card Berry rides previous course and distance winner Dark Crusader for Martin.
The daughter of Cape Cross takes a significant drop in class on her return to Ballybrit and, with bottom-weight, the 7/2 chance looks likely to have her say.
Dermot Weld’s Good Tradition, a wide margin winner at Killarney on his first start in over a year, is??EVS for Pat Smullen in the finale.