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Spare ride provides McCullagh with a welcome winner

Golden Spangle (left) holds on Golden Spangle (left) holds on
© Photo Healy Racing

Niall McCullagh rode his first winner of the season in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden having picked up the ride on Golden Spangle (9/2) once Rory Cleary was stood down after a fall in the opening two-year-old maiden.

Evergreen McCullagh sat second on the daughter of Dawn Approach before pushing her into the lead a furlong and-a-half out. Despite a high head carriage, the chesnut found just enough to hold on by a diminishing short head from Nakassama with odd-on favourite Tommy Thug another neck away in third.

McCullagh reminisced afterwards that he had ridden plenty of winners for trainer Jim Bolger in the past, particularly in the days when riding light weights around the 8 stone mark in handicaps.

Stable representative Ger Flynn said: "She has been knocking on the door and deserved that. She looked a picture beforehand.

"Niall has all the experience to fill in and she did it well over that new trip, having maybe been in front a bit soon.

"We may find something for her in Galway next week."

Quotes from Michael Graham

About Mark Nunan
Mark has followed racing since he was a teenager and worked for many years as a broadcaster with the Irish version of Racecall. He joined the Press Association in 2019 and is also a contributor to the Racing Post. A native of Kildare, he now lives in Sligo.