We had a couple of winners yesterday folks with Emilie Gray who was impressive for Dermot Weld and Twinkle who got the race in the stewards room came home in front. The feature on Wednesday is the Galway Plate.
Scroll down to check out my selections.
4.35 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF MARES HANDICAP HURDLE 2M
We are over obstacles for the first time this week at the Galway Festival and the opener on Day Three looks a very tricky race.
NODOUBTABOUTTHAT looks like mare who is coming into form at the right time and the claim of Joseph Kelly could make all the difference.
This mare is in here off 106 but the jockeys claim of seven pounds brings her down to 99 and that is the same mark where she was only beaten a nose by Paula’s Prayer at Fairyhouse back in April when given plenty to do.
I think she really turned a corner after that race and while something was amiss at Kilbeggan she improved off the back of that since with two very solid runs.
If she gets luck in running I would expect her to go very close.
5.10 TOTE + PLACEPOT PAYS MORE NOVICE HURDLE (LISTED RACE) 2M
This looks to be a very good race but the horse that really catches my eye is the Denise Foster trained OFF YOUR ROCCO.
This gelding is unbeaten in two starts and really impressed when staying on strongly to win at Killarney getting the better of Desir Du Large and Irish Poseidon.
He will need to step up again to contend here but I think he could do that with the likely softer ground conditions in his favour.
He travels well in his races and there is no doubt he will have had more schooling over hurdles at home.
He could be a horse to keep an eye on over the winter and should take plenty of beating here. He will be my NAP on Day Three.
5.45 TOTE + @TOTE.IE GALWAY RACES MAIDEN HURDLE 2M 5F
Willie Mullins and Brian Hayes will combine here with RAYAPOUR – THIS HORSE IS NOW A NON RUNNER – and this horse has been in my notebook for quite a while.
He joined the Closutton yard highly thought of and they would of expected much better than they got from him in the Ascot Stakes.
I think the softer ground conditions will see him in a much better light this time around and he looks one of the main protagonists here.
In terms of his hurdling form he jumped well in the main when finishing third on hurdles debut at Kilbeggan behind Palm Beach over 2m 3f.
This step up in trip is sure to suit and on the market he looks the stable second string but I think he could take plenty of beating here.
6.15 TOTE GALWAY PLATE HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE A) 2M 6F
This race is one of the features of the week and the green and gold colours of JP Mc Manus dominate the racecard as he has five runners.
Cathal Byrnes and Jody Mc Garvey will team up with OFF YOU GO and ever since this horse finished sixth in the Irish Grand National I have had him down as the winner of the Galway Plate.
He has one piece of form that leaves him attractively handicapped and that is the victory in the Leopardstown Chase where he got the better of Minella Times who as we know went on to land the Aintree Grand National under Rachael Blackmore.
The rain that has arrived in recent days will put an emphasis on stamina and this horse has plenty of it.
He is a course winner over hurdles and his jumping has improved in the main.
Will be very hard to keep out of the frame here with luck in running.
6.45 TOTE + BIGGEST DIVIDENDS @TOTE.IE HANDICAP HURDLE 2M 5F
This is without doubt one of the trickiest puzzles of the night to try and solve and I am going to take a small chance with a horse at double figure odds.
COSMOS MOON hasn’t run over hurdles for 725 days since he was trained by Noel Meade but had a rating of 125 and if he was able to get back to anything like that in this race then he is massively overpriced.
He returned with a spin on the flat at Killarney when beaten just over twelve lengths. He was third to Sole Pretender who is now a 153 rated animal over hurdles and if his new yard can get him back to anything like that ability then he could surprise quite a few.
The booking of Denis O’Regan is also interesting as he would know the horse from working at Noel Meades.
Could run on into a place at a big price.
7.15 TOTE + PROUD SPONSOR OF THE GALWAY RACES HANDICAP CHASE 2M 5F
This is another very competitive race and again I am going down the market with the Tom Mc Court trained DOLLAR VALUE.
This horse ran a very good prep race for this when chasing home the ever consistent Peregrine Run on the flat at Leopardstown last week.
That should leave him spot on for this race and he is a quite a consistent sort on the flat and over obstacles.
He has course form from back in October when he finished third to Scheu Time over 2m 2f off a mark of 116.
He is two pounds higher this time around and if he can jump off near the back and settle to get the trip he could be staying on at the finish.
He would be a small each-way play in a tricky contest.
7.45 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF MARES INH FLAT RACE 2M
MARY MEEHAN heads the market for Patrick and Willie Mullins and on her debut run for a different stable it looks a tough task to see her involved here.
The reason I am selecting her in this race is that we all know that Willie Mullins knows what it takes to get improvement from new recruits and the fact that Patrick has chosen to ride her says it all.
Memorable Daise who is second favourite is also trained by Willie so Patrick would have had the choice between the two.
If Mary Meehan seems to be working well at home at that is the reason Patrick is on board then this could be one of the gambles of the week.
Keep a close eye on the market in this race. She is a very interesting runner.
8.15 TOTE +PAYS YOU MORE @TOTE.IE INH FLAT RACE 2M
The final race on Day Three looks a decent bumper and the horse that I will side with is the Joseph O’Brien trained LEVEL NEVERENDING.
This horse ran a very encouraging race on debut when third behind Sherodan at Tipperary when he was very green all the way up the home straight and looked like he would come on plenty for the run.
The form has been boosted since as the fourth placed Dicebox has come out and won since.
There is no doubt that this horse will improve off the back of that run.
He will be hard to keep out of the placings here.