Day 2 from the Galway Festival:
A nice 2mile hurdle for novices to open up the day, this one excludes 3 year olds so likely to see lots of flat form in the mix for these horses.
Shamar is a French import and not the usual type for Galway from Mullins, also an extra 3lb penalty may have an effect and the finish is always tricky for this tricky sort. Bob le Beau also gives away weight to most the field excellent horse on flat but when raced here didn’t show best and was only an 8th so doubts.
Cracking man is well related and has nice bumper winner on the form book. Flopped run after that but then won moderate hurdle race, seems to be well liked but will need to be to win here. If you want to oppose diplomat here Elegant Statesman looks a very good option good winner in large fields of his last two races. The form of those races don’t really work out however to fully instil the confidence to oppose the favourite. Que Pasa gets weight from all bar one in this field. Won a 20 runner maiden before running into Shamar. Was getting 7lbs so the extra 3lbs today may not be enough to reverse that form on bare face of it.
I did not go with Diplomat yesterday at shade odds on but I am now. He won in a good style yesterday with a bit in hand and the fact he has nice bit of weight on most of his rivals is a big plus here. On a run right now and Weld has been good at racing his charges more than once at the festival.
Woolcombe folly 9/4
A 2mile 6f chase for the horses over 5 years old. Again a manageable field for us to pick from. Dantes King is the best of the 3 outsiders to opt for he is slightly big price wise but its hard to see home overcoming the top of the market but he may push them, but handicap terms suggest weights against him here. Hidden Cyclone is interesting no doubt, but he is coming off a fall in his form and a rare fall from his last race.
Woolcombe Folly is the English raider for Nicholls. Walsh rides him for only second time last getting up back in 2010. The 7lbs at the weights also will be a big help. Not best run last time but has shown by staying up the hill at Cheltenham that Galway may not be an issue. Rathlin is looking to seal a hat trick here. Jumps very well which is good help but not had run around here before.
Ballybacka queen 4/1
A 7 furlong maiden for 2 year old horses. Since Bolger won this in 2005, its been an O’Brien v Weld Battle with O’Brien taking the last 2 and 3 of the last 4. Not a race to get to deeply involved in and its hard to look outside those two big trainers. However O’Brien does not have a strong entry for this and so well is left with the odds on favourite Tarfasha. At the prices I am going to opt for Ballybacka Queen the fact she stayed on better than Calorie in their last race suggest he will be the better option to stay the 7 furlongs here at Galway. Tarfasha is so interesting coming off a 2nd in a muddle 3 horse race.
pintura 10/1 e/w
The Topaz mile the feature race of the day is raced at just 100 yards over the mile. Open to all horses over 3 years old the ground will be drying up as day goes on and should see good ground. Captain Joy has top weight to contend with as well as being more at home on the all weather or quick ground which he won’t get here. Salam Alaykum has a lot on his plate to cope here in a very competitive renewal with many stronger types. Seanie has just a single career win a poor strike rate but excuses for Tipperary 4th last time if can improve. Swiftly done will be glad of the rain and wins came at mile so Galway 7 furlongs might well suit but needs pick up on the form book.
With the overnight rain and the ground likely be little cut up prehaps its best to leave Tandem aside here as well as the weight hike he takes here.
Captain Cullen should finally get nailed for his win last time out saw him get in and another step up here if he was too good well. Golden Shoe also out of the weights has been effective but again can he step up when needed here? Global Village comes over from England, he raced an awful lot at Ascot a very flat track that doesn’t really share the test of Galway. Brog Deas had a good run but he isn’t quiet matching form of earlier in the season and he hasn’t been off the track either.
Campanology is an interesting horse now racing in Ireland this season. But again while I like some things theirs still the questions over him. The choice for me is then Pintura. Loves this course and poor run in Listed company aside the form looks good. with nice win at 7 furlong in York before that. 2nd and 1st last year at Galway screams out of his love of this course.
Our Max 11/2
Pick to oppose Weld favourite who does look a little short for this
Indian Landing 7/2
7f furlong handicap with moderate sorts. A race Weld has not won which makes it a rare one. Fit the Cove has the always important course form but also a record fresh that wouldn’t inspire a repeat. Also at 13 hes no spring chicken either. September Lily got off the mark 3 runs back but bit of let down at Gorwan last time ground no issue but a step up needed here. Consonance saw the sole win come here at Galway which always interests. But form at the time much stronger than current form coming into this. Indian Landing is then the strong choice and very easy to see what hes the favourite. Won in Galway in 2011 off a mark just 2lbs lower than today so course form in the book. Looked bit off till last 3 runs have truely been positive including an impressive close second at cork last time.
face value 9/1 , dancers dilema 9/2 (saver)
SIlk hall was of no interest till he caused an upset to win a grade 3 over the jumps just 9 days ago. Bryon Blue will need some magic for this new yard from the hood. Its been a mixed bag this season so far over hurdles. Darenjan was well down the field in this last time showing a bit of decline and mostly been racing over jumps.
That leaves the 3 main horses of interest. Busted tycoon is bit too short with the two others I fancy. Looking for a 4th win in row here but a different test on plate with first run at track like this one. Face Value is a good 2 miler, a decent 3rd at Bellewstown last time can be improved on now. Also has a galway win under his belt from 2012 and rain has done chances no harm. The weld smullen combo have a nice one here and had race course debut at this track and seemed to get on ok so a saver on this one with potential interest.
a 2mile handicap and with the large field a tricky call.