Press Association In a race run to suit those with proven stamina on the tacky ground, the Jimmy Finn-trained seven-year-old was held up through the early stages and was always likely to be doing his best work late on as a winner already over a longer trip. He was under pressure a fair way out, but Eddie O’Connell’s mount, who was pulled out of a beginners chase on Thursday because of the testing conditions, relished the long run from the last, eventually coming eight and a half lengths clear of Darenjan. Finn, who bred and also owns the 9-2 winner, said: “It’s grand when things go right. “He likes good ground, but he had a light weight here and just got into the handicap, which was a big help. “This is by far my biggest win so far and I’ve a half-brother to him going to the sales this month. We’ll see how he comes out of this and he might go for a two-and-a-half-mile handicap in Killarney.” Dermot Weld notched his 11th victory of the week when Notable Graduate (evens favourite) caught runaway leader The Black Russian in the Trappers Inn Maiden Hurdle, battling away under Derek O’Connor to score by a length and three-quarters. O’Connor came in for the ride at the last moment as Robbie McNamara was booked but couldn’t make the weight, while the stewards turned down a request to allow Ruby Walsh to take over as they considered it was not a like-for-like change (a professional taking over from an amateur). The winning jockey said: “He was on and off the bridle throughout the race and there was a fierce pace set by Tony Kelly’s horse. He missed the last hurdle but kept on well up the hill. I was very lucky to get the ride, but there is no better man to ride for around Galway than Mr Weld.” Ballyfinboy stayed on strongly from the final fence to land the feature Lord Hemphill Memorial Handicap Chase at Galway.
He has also had loan spells at Brentford, Coventry and Nottingham Forest, for whom he featured on seven occasions at the end of last season. Akpom showcased his talents for Arsenal last month when firing a hat-trick against a Singapore Select XI in the Barclays Asia Trophy. Hull boss Steve Bruce has now made four summer signings following the previous captures of Ryan Taylor and Sam Clucas, while the club is expected to complete the permanent signing of defender Moses Odubajo from Brentford. Bruce also remains hopeful of landing Odubajo’s Brentford team-mate Andre Gray in time for Saturday’s opening Sky Bet Championship clash with Huddersfield at the KC Stadium. The Tigers had a reported £4million bid for Gray rejected last week. The 19-year-old has followed Arsenal team-mate Isaac Hayden to the KC Stadium following the versatile defender or midfielder’s arrival in a similar deal on Friday. Akpom progressed through Arsenal’s academy and has made nine first-team appearances for the club. Hull have signed Arsenal’s teenage striker Chuba Akpom on a season-long loan. Press Association