Limerick trainer Robbie McNamara scores thrilling Galway Festival win

Colm Kinsella


Colm Kinsella


Limerick trainer Robbie McNamara scores thrilling Galway Festival win

Trainer Robbie McNamara with his trophy after sending out Cascavelle, ridden by fellow Limerick man Billy Lee, to win the Caulfield Industrial Irish EBF Maiden at Galway on Tuesday night

LIMERICK racehorse trainer Robbie McNamara saddled his first Galway Festival winner on Tuesday night as 9/1 shot Cascavelle won the Caulfield Industrial Irish EBF Maiden.

Cascavelle was ridden by Limerick jockey Billy Lee, from Ballingarry, who scored a double on the night, to bring his tally of the wins for the Galway Summer Festival to three.

Croom native McNamara, who was top National Hunt jockey award at the week-long Galway summer meeting on two occasions, suffered life-changing injuries in a fall at Wexford in April 2015.

McNamara began training last year - saddling a double with his first two runners - and snapped up Cascavelle for €30,000 at public auction last November.

The popular winner received a warm ovation from racegoers when led back into the winners enclosure at Ballybrit on Tuesday night.

A delighted Robbie McNamara, now based on the Curragh, said: “I preferred the buzz of riding a winner but I find the everyday life of a trainer just as good.  

“The buzz of riding a winner is a bit better but training winners is very enjoyable also and I’ll enjoy that for a lot longer than riding a winner.

“They’ve been hitting the post but even though this horse was only about 85 per cent fit I still thought he’d take beating. He has plenty of class and he can only improve.

“He’s in my colours so if anybody else want to take him I’ll ship him on – but only to stay in the yard!”

In-form jockey Ballingarry jockey Lee completed his double on the night when the 4/1 favourite Serefeli pounced late to win a mile handicap by half a length for trainer Peter Fahey.