Mokhalad Magic Lights Up Galway

It had already been a Bank Holiday Weekend to remember. Two days spent at Cheltenham had taken its toll. The John McConnell team had five runners at the meeting. The highlight of which was the victory of Bardenstown Lad who was led up by our very own Johnny Maher. A very special moment, one which was celebrated long into the night as well as the next day. We got our act together eventually on Monday afternoon setting off for Galway. We have many happy memories of Galway, we love the racecourse and it holds a very warm place in our hearts. The away trips for a syndicate are always a mixed bag. If it's a festival the demands for tickets are huge, everyone loves the big show. It can be very stressful, however, they are days filled with anticipation.  A dodgy looking bank holiday Monday is usually a couple of people and keep us posted lads on how it's going. That is the game it's all part of syndicate life. We are always represented near or far. We pride ourselves on that. When Mokhalad races it matters every day, when owners are at the track or remote everyone is fully engaged.

We headed to Galway with Mokhalad.  Our flagship horse, the captain, the leader and of course the one known as "The King". The ground would be very soft, however, we were hoping a return to Ballybrit would spark a revival for Mokhalad. In three previous visits to Galway Mokhalad was 335. The two third places came at the famous Galway Races Festival.  Mokhalad had also posted his two best runs of this season at Galway. We had a very decent draw from stall 6. The hope was Siobhan Rutledge could get Mokhalad to bounce out and make all. The very testing ground would be a concern however, we thought it might be easier to front-run. We felt we would know our fate early if Mokhalad got into a good racing rhythm we could be in business. The bottom line is we know Mokhalad is capable of running a huge race on any given day. We know it, he is our iconic horse has done so much for us all. Galway is a horse for courses job so hopefully, Mokhalad could prove that rule. I and Johnny Maher met Siobhan Rutledge a half hour before the race. We went over the plan we were all agreed. Our trainer John McConnell was in Newmarket at the horses in training sales, he was in constant contact. Johnny Maher headed off to lead Mokhalad up  I went to find a strong coffee. The day's relaxed easy pace vibe was about to go through the gears rapidly. 

I don't even honestly know where to begin. It was vintage Mokhalad at Galway as he roared back to the winner's enclosure while smashing our 15-month without a winner hoodoo to bits. Mokhalad broke them one by one from the front. They lined up to challenge coming down the hill. Mokhalad kicked off the home turn surging three lengths clear. He powered up the famous hill. Mokhalad would have one last determined challenger in Plunkett however Mokhalad was in no mood to be passed he fought off Plunkett with his trademark will to win. Mokahlad was going away at the line again to win by three parts of a length with a further 3.25 lengths back to the third horse Clear Quartz. Siobhan Rutledge was absolutely brilliant here with a real dare and do ride. Siobhan carried out the plan to perfection. Siobhan is such a brilliant team player, she always has a kind polite word to all she encounters. Siobhan Rutledge is a young jockey and like all young people, they have to be given a chance to learn. The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate has always supported young people be they be Trainers, Jockeys and even young new owners. We were delighted to see Siobhan Rutledge become a black and green winning jockey.

This was an incredibly emotional win for us all. I have no shame in saying it against myself, it was almost too much for your correspondent. As we ran to greet Mokhalad and Siobhan, flashbacks to his previous great days come to you. However, on this day, Mokhalad was outstanding showing all his qualities as a racehorse, speed, desire and of course courage. There are so many people to thank for this cherished day. We have to pay special tribute to Mokhalad's faithful work rider Amy O'Hanlon who has done so much for Mokhalad. Amy's devotion to Mokhalad is wonderful to see, nobody could care for him more. This victory was as much Amy's as it was ours. Our trainer John McConnell has kept trying, kept tweaking things with Mokhalad who is now 8. John has kept Mokhalad in great shape mentally and physically. Siobhan Rutledge also partners Mokhalad in gallops playing a huge role. Brian Moloney transports Mokhalad to the races, a vital role that people on the outside do not fully understand. Mokhalad's owners are also a remarkable group of people patient, understanding with the horse being the number one priority at all times. We have done it all together since the start, a number of Mokhalad's owners are involved in every Galaxy horse. Mokhalad came into our lives in September 2017. Things have never been the same since Mokhalad is at the centre of everything. His hoofprints are forever imprinted on all our lives. Mokhalad has now won races in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Mokhalad has won seven races for seven different jockeys.

We know Mokhalad is near the end of his career. Decisions on his future can wait for a little while. It is not sadness we are near the end it is gratitude as well as respect for the most wonderful of racehorses, who we have the privilege to own. Mokhalad has given us everything throughout his career. A glorious retirement awaits at some point. As has often been the case for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate since its foundation. The answer was Mokhalad it is he who gives us our first Galway winner. Mokhalad has been our leader, our captain, a warrior, a hero, an icon, A KING.  Mokhalad has allowed us to build the syndicate. Every other horse that has followed stands on the shoulders of Mokhalad. A seven-time winner who in the toughest of times over the last year continued to charge into battle carrying our flag. We thank everyone who got in touch with messages of congratulations it has been incredible the number of messages, as well as the clear admiration people, have for our horse. Mokhalad there will never be another you.