What a day we had on Thursday folks with 4️⃣ winners – making it a €1 level-stake profit of just short of €17 over the last two days (based on SPs) – and, if we can even get one or two on the board today, it would be a success on a tricky card.
The 5pm race, the ‘Galway Tribes, is worth €75,000 and the 5:30pm, the Guinness Handicap Hurdle, is worth €80,000.
A couple of very interesting runners are included so scroll down and check them out.
4.00 JAMES’S GATE MAIDEN HURDLE 2M
VERMILION CLIFFS was formerly trained by Aidan O’Brien on the level and ran out a nice winner of a Dundalk maiden back in October 2020 and it surprised me quite a bit that the Ballydoyle team didn’t hold onto him.
Denis Hogan acquired him and he really caught the eye at Wexford over hurdles, staying on from an unpromising position to finish third.
His next start was very flat but he had gone up in trip and reverting back to two miles here could make all the difference.
It doesn’t look the strongest race and he could be tough to keep out of the frame.
Keep a close eye on the market.
4.30 ADARE MANOR OPPORTUNITY HANDICAP HURDLE 2M
Tony Martin and owner John Breslin love to have a winner around Galway and NIBIRU who represents them here ran an excellent race on Monday over a mile and a half when chasing home Merroir.
Turning for home this horse was travelling as good as the eventual winner but he got caught for some tactical speed and the winner quickened away.
Nibiru stayed at it well and looks interesting here off a mark of 109. He has threatened on a number of occasions as he is an in running punters nightmare, considering he travels so well in his races. Liam Mc Kenna who claims four pounds off his back will be waiting until the last possible minute to produce him.
Solid each-way proposition here.
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5.00 GUINNESS GALWAY TRIBES HANDICAP HURDLE 2M
Cathal Byrnes and Philip Enright team up here with RUN FOR OSCAR and he looks very interesting off the back of a very good run when third behind Winner Takes Itall last time out at Bellewstown.
The handicapper has put him up two pound for that run but watching the race back I think plenty went wrong for him on that occasion and he could have been much closer to the eventual winner without being hampered three from home.
The softer ground conditions should be no issue and if he gets luck in running then he could take plenty of beating as there is no doubt he will improve off that last run.
The form of it has worked out nicely as the winner finished sixth in the Galway Hurdle and the 4th Bridge Native ran well over fences this week too.
Tough to keep out of the frame here.
5.30 GUINNESS HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE B) 2M 6F
DECOR IRLANDAIS looks really nicely handicapped based on his Grade One fourth place behind the likes of Thyme Hill and Roksana at Aintree back in April and a reproduction of anything like that then he must go close here.
He ran on this card last season when he finished fourth in the previous race on todays card. He warned up for this race with a very eye-catching run on the level behind Ever Present at Leopardstown.
He was slowly into stride and was niggled along most of the way but stayed on nicely in the closing stages.
I think he will improve off the back of that and should be in the shake up here.
Tough to keep out of the frame at a nice price.
6.05 GUINNESS BEGINNERS CHASE 2M 2F
This is probably the most interesting race on the evening with the former Nicky Henderson trained BIRCHDALE – THIS HORSE WAS A NON RUNNER – making his debut for Enda Bolger.
It doesn’t look the strongest race and I will be very surprised if this horse gets beaten.
He finished eight in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham back in 2020 and has then had a strange chasing campaign where it has just never gone right for him.
The ability is there but he seemed lacklustre on a couple of occasions. The change of scenery could make a massive difference and his rating of 146 over the larger obstacles means for me he should head the market.
This is one of the weaker races he has contested and I will be shocked if he is not in the frame turning for home. He has plenty of stamina and the uphill finish should be ideal.
He will be my NAP selection for Day Five.
6.40 ARTHUR GUINNESS CHASE 2M 6F
JP Mc Manus is double handed here and it could be a quick double on the card for him but it’s the Harry Fry trained and Aidan Coleman ridden PHOENIX WAY that catches my attention here.
Many of the runners in this race had a run in the Galway Plate on Wednesday and that will no doubt take its toll while Phoenix Way is very lightly raced and hasn’t been seen since finishing fourth in a Grade One at Aintree back in April.
He would have five pounds to find with Darasso on ratings but I think the fact that he is so lightly raced suggests that there is improvement to come.
Should be tough to keep out of the placings with luck in running.
7.10 GUINNESS GALWAY BLAZERS HANDICAP CHASE 2M 6F
CUSP OF CARIBELLI who finished third in this race last season is back here to try and land the pot off a ten pound higher mark.
The softer conditions are right up his street and with Sean Flanagan on board he surely wont lack from the saddle.
He had a nice prep run for this at Killarney over hurdles and I am surprised to see him as big as he is in the market. I think he has improved since last season and the fact that he handles the ground and likes the track that would be two big positives for me and he looks a solid each way chance here.
He has third to Sizing Pottsie off 132 so he can be competitive off this mark and I think he looks primed for a very big run.
Keep a close eye on the market.
7.45 HOP HOUSE 13 INH FLAT RACE 2M
I was hoping DANI BARCELONA would appear this week as she produced a very taking performance at Clonmel on debut and with improvement to come and the fact that Jody Townend can claim five off her back I think she will take all the beating here.
She travelled the best at Clonmel and showed a nice turn of foot to quicken away in style. The one slight negative is we just don’t know how she will handle the ground but being by Shirocco I would be hoping she would be ok on it.
I think she is one to keep in your tracker and keep a close eye on her.
She will hopefully be a star in the making at Closutton.