CHASTLETON trainer John Gallagher has celebrated his first winner of the year in the Investec Great Metropolitan Handicap at Epsom.

Gallagher was delighted to see Tom Queally lead Lungarno Palace, a 4-1 shot, to an impressive victory.

The Grove Farm Racing Stables- based trainer is now hoping for further triumphs after his best-ever campaign in 2014.

Another charge, Port Lairge, finished second at Brighton on Tuesday.

“We had 15 winners last year and lots of placings and every horse with exception of a few won some prize money last year,” he said.

“The only problem with that is when you get to Christmas you have to start again from zero but I would definitely hope to have some more winners.”

Lungarno Palace’s victory was toasted locally because he is owned by Little Compton’s Mark Goodall in partnership with James Greenley and Ashley Weston.

Gallagher said: “Mark has had about 10 runners with us and that was our first winner so we are delighted.”

Inspector Norse took the field along for the opening mile of the 12-furlong contest before being headed by Instant Karma.

Stetchworth, Jakey and Lungarno Palace moved past the Michael Bell runner at the twofurlong stage.

As Stetchworth’s challenge faded, Lungarno Palace, who previously raced over a mileand- a-quarter, dug deep with Queally to hold off Jakey by half-a-length with Barwick a further three-quarters of a length back.

Gallagher said: “Lungarno has been knocking on the door for a while. He was a shade unlucky at Doncaster but we knew he would be able to handle the Epsom track well.

“He is a good horse and Tom Queally said after he rode him at Doncaster that he would win over a mile-and-a-half.

“He is a bit tricky and quirky and he takes a bit of riding.

“Because of his style of running if he gets a bit stuck it takes a little while to get him though.

He battled it out well.”

He added: “Lungarno had a second and two third places from three runs and he was unlucky at Newmarket last year when he was beaten by a head.”

Goodall had another Gallagher- trained charge, Majestic Moon, who was fourth at Leicester in the EBF Stallions