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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Tigris River set for step up in class after Galway glory

Tigris River and Barry Geraghty are greeted by Joseph O'Brien after winning the Guinness Galway Hurdle
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Joseph O'Brien enjoyed a week at the Galway festival he won't forget in a hurry.

The young trainer saddled four winners and had six of his runners hit the frame, his week highlighted by landing the €300,000 Galway Hurdle with Tigris River and Slowmotion finishing third in the €250,000 Galway Plate.

Tigris River, who was superbly delivered by Barry Geraghty to deny Swamp Fox in the dying strides, has been raised 10lb, meaning a step up in grade could be on the cards for the now 150-rated six-year-old.

O'Brien said: "We were delighted with Tigris River and it was a great day to cap a great week.

"I don't know where he'll go next but that rise would probably mean we have to step up in class. There's plenty there for him."

The trainer's talents on the Flat have already been seen to great effect this season, guiding exciting three-year-old Rekindling to Group 2 Curragh Cup glory last month.

Rekindling finished with a wet sail to win the Curragh Cup last time, seeing off Wicklow Brave

The son of High Chaparral got the better of last year's Irish St Leger winner Wicklow Brave last time and could be bound for the concluding Irish Classic's trial at the Curragh on Saturday week.

O'Brien said: "Rekindling was super at the Curragh and he's been in good form since. He might go back to the Curragh and he's also in a race in France – we'll make the call closer to the time."

Rekindling is a general 10-1 shot for the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster in September, and his trainer added: "If all went well between now and then, either the Doncaster or Curragh St Leger would be a possibility."

Owner Lloyd Williams has won the Melbourne Cup a record five times and Rekindling is priced between 25-1 and 33-1 for the race that stops a nation, with O'Brien acknowledging there are plenty of possibilities between now and the end of the season.

No three-year-old has managed to lift the Cup since 1941 and O'Brien said: "I'm not sure about that just yet, we'll have see how things go on our next run."

Le Richebourg continued his winning ways at the Galway festival last week

Impressive novice hurdler Le Richebourg got the trainer's festival off to a flyer in the opening race of the meeting, and O'Brien added: "It was nice to see him win and, after a busy few weeks, we won't rush him back.

"We're really looking forward to him for the rest of the season."

We were delighted with him and it was a great day to cap a great week
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