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The Galway Plate, the highlight of the festival week, today depicted the classic tale how ones fortune is another dreadful misfortune when a highly entertaining, if not somewhat bizarre race unfolded at Galway this afternoon.

Dovaly was the surprising 20/1 winner of the #61,250 first prize, prompting the trainer's daughter, Ann-Marie O'Brien to admit the winner was 'helped by all the fallers.'

Indeed, Dovaly - somewhat off the boil since winning a Grade 2 handicap at the Punchestown festival - narrowly avoided being brought down at the fifth last and appeared to struggle with the pace set by Philip Carberry on Duinin.

The deciding factor came when the final two fences were omitted due to injuries sustained to jockeys Warren Marsden and Russ Geraghty from first circuit falls.

Connection's of Duinin and Monty's Pass will feel hard done by, as the result may have been different if the fences had been jumped. It would have been asking plenty of Tom Rudd's tiring mount to make an impact with two fences remaining on the run in.

Duinin was left in front seven fences from home and looked comfortable to bowl along. In contrast, Jason Titley was hard at work in second place on last year's winner Moscow Express.

Turning for home, Dovaly and Monty's Pass were making continuos progress and despite being hampered by the loose horses, soon collared a tired Moscow Express.

Duinin had run a game race but the extended run-in found her out as she weakened badly on the far rail.

Tom Rudd, who had 'shed a few pounds with the Nenagh Rugby club' mustered up another surging effort up the center of the track and held a two length advantage over the fast finishing Monty's Pass.

On the run in, the loose horse played a crucial role in carrying the winner to the line. An exhausted but extremely gallant Dovaly, struggled over the finishing line with three lengths to spare over Monty's Pass and a further two lengths back to Palette.

Trainer Michael O'Brien, who is confined to a wheelchair, was not at the track but expressed his 'delight' and 'excitement' from home where he was watching the race on television.

His daughter Ann-Marie said:'He ran well and jumped great. We were a bit worried about the rain earlier in the week but we were happy enough with the ground when we got here.'

'We ran him in this race last year with blinkers but he was far too keen', she added

Winning jockey Tom Rudd was riding his biggest race victory since capturing the 1999 Irish National on Glebe Lad. 'He is a good horse and this is not that much of a surprise to me.'

Jimmy Mangan, who trained the second, said Ken Whelan was clearly disappointed saying, 'if the fences were not omitted Monty's Pass would have won. I'm sure of that.'

5/1 favourite, Super Franky, only beat one of the 15 finishers home and was subsequently found to be in respiratory distress.

Initial Figure, who was the subject of ahuge on course gamble on Monday night, provided record seeking Dermot Weld with a training treble for the day.

Weld needs five more winners to break the record for the most trained winners by an Irishman which currently stands at 2,577, and he is now quietly confident he can break the record here this week.

Weld disclosed that the winner had 'coughed five times after Monday night's race and had probably swallowed something.'

'We had him scoped this morning and everything was clean,' explained Weld.

Weld, who holds a remarkable training record at Galway, scored moments earlier with the odds on favourite (4/6) Step With Style in the Compaq Nonstop eBusiness Maiden.

'We will now look for a suitable Listed race', said Weld of the winner.

Weld also secured the 1m4f qualified riders race with Sage Dancer.

He instructed jockey Kevin O'Ryan to 'go for home at the top of the hill'. O'Ryan kicked on at the four furlong marker and held a healthy six length advantage in the straight. At the line Sage Dancer could afford two lengths from the fast finishing Silent Native.

'The blinkers made him concentrate, he lacks the speed but stays well and could make a nice hurdler in the future', explained the jubilant Weld.

The Curragh trainer had doubts over race favourite, Franca saying 'the weakness in Oxx's horse is the lack of stamina.'

Franca, who finished well down the field trailing over the line in a disappointing 13th place, was found post race to have burst a blood vessell.

Ruby Walsh recorded his second winner of the festival with a battling victory aboard Whatchowillie in the Compaq Software Publishing Services Handicap at Galway today.

Winning trainer Frances Crowley had been worried about the under foot conditions but was pleased to find the 'ground had dried out nicely'.

Approaching the home turn, Norman Williamson, aboard Shaiyran, had collared long time leader Hands and Heels and openedup a one length lead. Walsh, sitting comfortably in fifth, reacted and brought the two on terms jumping the last.

Whatchowille put in the better jump and grabbed a slight advantage. The two jockeys were hard at work, and despite Shaiyran briefly getting his head in front, Whatchowillie held on at the line with a head to spare.

Prior to that race, Williamson expertly produced the Michael Cunningham-trained Cotopaxi in the final stages to land the opening Compaq Alphaserver SC Hurdle.

Sixth turning the bend, and boxed in on the rails jumping the last, Williamson switched his mount to the outside and galloped relentlessly up the hill to hold off the challenges of Pillar Rock and Masalarian by a length-and-a-half and a short-head.

Cunningham nominated the 4-year-old hurdle at the Listowel festival as the next outing for the son of 1994 Irish 2000 Guineas winner, Turtle Island.

Tom Queally, the fifteen-year-old apprentice who won yesterday's featured race, made a smart return to the winners enclosure today aboard the Tom Kidd-trained She's Wonderful.

The winner, who according to Kidd 'is likely to run again tomorrow providing she comes out well,' is in foal to King's Theatre, a previous King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and Racing Post Trophy winner.

Kidd went on to explain: 'It's near the end of the road. If she run's tomorrow it will be her last run'. The filly is a full sister to Italian 2000 Guineas winner Alabama Jacks.

Trainer John Roche was overjoyed with his win in the Compaq Software Installation Service Handicap, describing Larifaari's one length victory as 'brilliant'.

Roche was quick to point out:' Mick Kinane rode this horse at Clonmel and as soon as he stepped off he told me to run her in the 1m 100 yard race at Galway!'

Larifaari, who recently ran in a seven furlong race at the Curragh to 'sharpen him up', sat in behind the leaders and delivered his challenge two furlongs out.

You don't usually see Paul Carberry riding winners on the flat but he got to work on Larifaari inside the final 150 yards to top off a memorable day for the delighted trainer.

Also feeling p1eased with their day's work will be the on course bookmakers at the festival. On this day last year punters splashed out a not insubstantial #1,705,610.

This figure was put in the shade today as bets totaling #2,135,103 were recorded at the Ballybrit track, eclipsing the previous Irish record for a single days on-course betting in the process.