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Thor's Hammer tough in Killarney

Thor's Hammer takes a narrow leadThor's Hammer takes a narrow lead
© Photo Healy Racing

Thor's Hammer justified 11/10 favouritism by a head in the opening three-year-old colts and geldings maiden in Killarney.

Johnny Murtagh 's Night Of Thunder colt had been runner-up in three of his previous six outings including when last seen at Gowran Park in April.

In this assignment, he tracked front-running Master Of The Hunt and travelled the better of the pair in taking a narrow lead racing to the final furlong.

He was far from home yet, though, as newcomer Babich stayed on for Gary Carroll and strongly challenged Thor's Hammer inside the final furlong.

Thor's Hammer, to his credit, refused to buckle and his head was always just in front of Babich who had to settle for second at 12/1.

Winning jockey Ben Coen said: "I could have done with Wayne's horse (Master Of The Hunt) bringing me a little further as I was travelling very well and, when I gave him the go-ahead, he idled a little. To be fair when the second horse came to me again he found again.

"I think he has matured mentally a lot between two (years) and three, and being gelded has helped as well.

"I thought his Gowran run was very good and he just bumped into a nice winner - he galloped to the line and handled the ground so I was confident enough coming here.

"I think he can get a little further and hopefully he can improve from that."

Additional reporting by Tom Weekes

About Michael Graham
Michael has worked in horse racing journalism for more than 15 years, having also written a weekly betting column on Gaelic football and hurling for a newspaper. He is involved in writing the My Racing Story features on this website. He spent a year in South Africa completing a Diploma in Business Administration and also studied Newspaper Journalism in Belfast. He enjoys playing 5-a-side football on a regular basis.