Winning jockey Mark Walsh celebrates after partnering the JP McManus-owned Early Doors to victory in Wednesday night's Tote Galway Plate at Ballybrit
LIMERICK businessman and leading racehorse owner JP McManus celebrated his seventh Galway Plate success on Wednesday evening.
McManus saw his famed green and gold hooped colours carried to success by 7/1 shot Early Doors in the Tote-sponsored feature race at Ballybrit.
The winner, who was ridden by Mark Walsh, is trained by Joseph O'Brien.
Early Doors was providing McManus with his seventh success in the prized steeplechase.
McManus' enjoyed his first Galway Plate success 42 years ago when Shining Hope prevailed in the Ballybrit showpiece for trainer Edward O'Grady.
Early Doors was winning for the first time over fences in the Tote Galway Plate. The seven-year-old was successful in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019.
The 2020 Galway Plate winner hit the front inside the final 200 yards, holding off the late challenge of Royal Rendezvous by three parts of a length.
In an interview with RTE Racing from his owner, winning trainer O'Brien said: "I thought Mark gave the horse a fantastic ride and I'm delighted for JP and everyone at home.
"The start was very messy and I thought Mark done very well to get away good. He got into a lovely rhythm jumping.
"Obviously experience was a big question mark but we were delighted to see the rain coming and it was a big help to him.
"I was a little bit worried when he missed the second last but I knew he'd be coming home well.
"It's a very special race to win. I remember years ago always hearing about Life Of A Lord winning the race a couple of times for Dad so it's a very special race to win."
"We'd all love to be there but please God we'll all be there next year."