Posts Tagged ‘ 2015 Galway Festival ’

31 Jul
2015

Maniac On The Loose In Galway

We’ve reached day six here in Galway, where the midweek revellers give way to the weekend arrivals, joining the party alongside some weary looking seven day stalwarts.

It really is a marathon run at sprint pace, with the city’s famous hospitality being dished out at full tilt.

Anyone heading to Ballybrit on Saturday can look forward to really attractive mixed card, which enjoyed while being washed down with some rehydrating refreshments will make for a great afternoon.

Three recommendations for a wager could really help the day go with a bang, and we’ll kick off with Tony Martin’s progressive dual purpose performer Pyromaniac in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at 3.15pm.

This lad missed out on a place in Thursday’s Galway Hurdle by the width of a fine coat of paint, failing to make the cut for the big one.

It will have frustrated Martin at the time, but in fact could turn out to have been a blessing in disguise, as compensation may well await.

Besides, Martin had a 1-3 courtesy of Quick Jack and Ted Veale, and might even have improved on that had Thomas Edison not come down at the last.

This gives him a golden opportunity of another winner at a meeting he has increasingly targeted, following on from Quick Jack on Thursday and Vive La France yesterday.

Pyromaniac benefits from the services of Galway Hurdle winning jockey Denis O’Regan, plus he was in winning form of late both on the Flat and over hurdles, scoring at both Limerick and the Curragh.

He looks well equipped to go close here, copes with any ground, and looks a solid option at 5/1 with either Coral or William Hill.

We’ll switch to the Flat at 4.25pm, with Curragh trainer Brendan Duke’s Leath Na Hoibre the pick to land the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery.

He hacked up at the Curragh on July 19th, with a subsequent six pound rise to a mark of 86 unlikely to be enough to stop him if he turns up in the same mood.

He can also improve further for a step up in trip to seven furlongs.

Lastly, row in with Another Cyclone to land the concluding bumper in the hands of Patrick Mullins at 6.05pm.

Scratched from a race on Monday he can make the wait worthwhile, building on a solid debut at Fairyhouse in April.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets at Galway:

3.15 – Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle – 4 Pyromaniac (win) @ 5/1 (Coral or William Hill)

4.25 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery – 4 Leath No Hoibre (win) @ 3/1 (bet365 or Coral)

6.05 – Ladbrokes “Your Sport Your Way”” INH Flat Race – 9 Another Cyclone (win) @ 9/4 (bet365 or Paddy Power)

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Posted 3 years, 3 months ago

30 Jul
2015

Shark Attack Feared In Galway

One of Irish racing’s best-loved and most instantly recognisable characters could be about to take centre stage at packed to the rafters Galway today, as County Carlow-based John Hanlon, far better known simply as ‘The Shark’, arrives in the wild west armed with a strong and intriguing challenge for today’s €300,000 Guinness Galway Hurdle (4.45pm, live on RTE1), courtesy of stable star Hidden Cyclone.

The 10-year-old Stowaway gelding has done his charismatic trainer proud, winning 12 races in all including five of his six outings over hurdles.

What’s more, he’s been readied for his big day with a fluent win on the Flat at Leopardstown, a smoother than smooth performance during which he never remotely left his comfort zone.

You can be 100% certain he will have to this afternoon though, as the proven quality and younger legs of the likes of Quick Jack, Diakali and Thomas Edison put it up to him.

However, the ratings case for Hidden Cyclone couldn’t be any more plain….the horse who has consistently boxed against the heavyweights over fences is rated 158 in that code, plus has as recently as February won a Grade 2 Chase.

Over hurdles however he is much more favourably assessed, seeking to exploit a mark over the smaller obstacles of just 137.

Factor in the three pound claim of Brian Hayes and you can see exactly why he’s an attractive proposition, under a feather weight, at the 8/1 available each way with Boylesports of BetVictor.

He ran well on his only previous experience of Galway (in 2013) and is one to keep on side today.

‘The Shark’ could also enjoy a dream start to the afternoon, with the richly-promising Clondaw Farmer fancied to successfully plough a successful furrow in the Guinness Dublin Porter Beginners Chase, run at 1.50pm.

Placed in a point-to-point, he won his bumper here at Galway a year ago, and then eased through his maiden hurdle at Down Royal without breaking sweat.

He’s up against the frustrating As De Ferbet for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh this afternoon, and can make his winning mentality count.

Good luck!

Thursday’s best bets at Galway:

1.50 – Guinness Dublin Porter Beginners Chase – 2 Clondaw Farmer (win) @ 4/1 (bet365, Betfred, Betvictor, Coral, Ladbrokes or William Hill)

4.45 – Guinness Galway Hurdle – 14 Hidden Cyclone (each way) @ 8/1 (Boylesports of BetVictor)

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Posted 3 years, 3 months ago

29 Jul
2015

A Hole ‘Inois’ In The Galway Plate?

If Monday and Tuesday have been something akin to a juicy appetiser here in Galway, Wednesday promises to be the most succulent of main courses, with a maximum field of 22 for thetote.com Galway Plate (5.30pm), an extended 2m 6f handicap chase groaning under the weight of €220,000 in prize money, which stretches down to sixth place.

It isn’t the most richly remunerated race at the Festival, that honour goes to the Galway Hurdle with its whopping €300,000, but it’s still enough to have tempted five runners from the Closutton stable of champion trainer Willie Mullins, a pair of visitors from England, plus a host of challengers from powerful Irish stables.

The quality is rising too, with 2013’s AP McCoy-ridden winner Carlingford Lough going on to strike in a pair of Grade 1’s, while last year’s hero Road To Riches hasn’t turned out too shabbily either, subsequently proving what a snip he was in Galway off a mark of 149, winning Grade 1’s in Down Royal and Leopardstown, and then finishing third in both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cups.

Is there another future star lurking among the 2015 contenders?

There’ll be tips flying around the betting ring for the likes of Jacksonslady (third in this in 2013), Shanpallas, Irish National second Rule The World, Gordon Elliott’s hat-trick seeker Make A Track, Colour Squadron on his first start for Enda Bolger, plus 25/1 shot Alderwood given that he went off 8/1 joint favourite a year ago.

However, surely the one with real potential to improve and win a race of this calibre off a mark of 147 is Alechi Inois?

Ruby Walsh will have faced the choice of the five Mullins runners, and rather than ride top weight Boston Bob (a four time Grade 1 winner) he goes for the rising force of Alechi Inois, very much a tip in itself.

This horse is five from seven over fences, fit from a win over hurdles at Cork on July 10th, and running under a tidy 11st 1lb due to stable companion Boston Bob helpfully keeping the weights down.

He’s proven on both Good and Soft ground, and whereas the likes of Make A Track, Colour Squadron and Rule The World haver to prove they can handle Galway’s famously stiff track, having never run here before, Alechi Inois is a perfect two from two at the venue.

He could still be very well handicapped, and that lengthy list of positives outweigh his lack of handicap experience.

Good luck!

Wednesday’s best bet at Galway:

5.30 – thetote.com Galway Plate (Hcap Chase) – 5 Alechi Inois (each way) @ 6/1 (bet365, Boylesports & Coral)

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Posted 3 years, 3 months ago

28 Jul
2015

Va Va Voom On Tuesday In Galway

After a not entirely displeasing set of results at Galway on Monday we head into day two and Tuesday on the front foot, targeting a tricky card with plenty of runners, the highlight of which is the €120,000 Topaz Mile Handicap at 6.50pm.

You’ll see the big one with us live on RTE2, and seeking a second win for his stable at the meeting the market leader is Dermot Weld’s Stay De Night.

The draw could’ve been kinder to him, so though Ger Lyon’s provides a powerful five of the 14 runners, the sporting play has to be dual former winner of this race Vastonea.

Now a seven-year-old, Kevin Prendergast’s grey Verglas gelding simply loves it here in Galway (must be the craic, Guiness and oysters), winning this race off a mark of 89 in both 2012 and 2014.

In-between times he wasn’t on his holidays either, finishing third in the same contest off 96 in 2013.

Well drawn and totally versatile in regards to the ground, he has the excellent apprentice Gary Halpin on board once more (won this on him last year), and from a mark of 90 his chance is plain to see.

Given that some horses shrink when they see the famous still uphill finish he has lots going for him, and at the time of writing he’s 12/1 each way with either BetVictor or Coral.

That’s not a price that’s likely to be available forever.

Good luck!

Tuesday’s best bet at Galway:

6.50 – Topaz Mile Premier Handicap – 10 Vastonea (each way) @ 12/1 (BetVictor or Coral)

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Posted 3 years, 3 months ago

27 Jul
2015

Solitaire Can Sparkle On Day One In Galway

They’re under starter’s orders here in the wild west of Ireland, with Galway city buzzing ahead of the seven great days which comprise the Galway Races.

This part of the world is synonymous not only with the craic and atmosphere that goes hand in hand with race week, but also for some pretty appalling weather (blame the Atlantic Drift), with anyone arriving in these parts getting a wet welcome during most of Sunday.

One of my rituals ahead of the big week is to walk the track at Ballybrit, an exercise which yielded a pleasant surprise at 5pm on Sunday, the circuit taking the rain well and earning a verdict of Good to Soft.

Of course that can worsen as the hours roll on, but it’ll take a good bit more to fall from the heavens for a real test to ensue underfoot.

Looking ahead to day one and a seven race card with a late start at 5.15pm, one which I’ve only been looking forward to for the last 51 weeks….

Winners aren’t easy to come by in Galway, even if your name is Dermot Weld, though the 28-time leading trainer at the meeting knows a thing or two about getting one ready for this seven day shindig.

He’s got a great chance of getting one on the board good and early with Zafayan in the opener, but I’m going to keep the powder dry ’til race two, in the hope that Henry de Bromhead’s Beckwith Star can repeat last year’s win in the the two mile Easyfix Rubber Products Handicap Hurdle (5.45pm).

The now 10-year-old took this contest 12 months ago off a lower mark, but has done well since and struck over fences last time out at Tipperary.

His hurdle rating is significantly lower than his fences mark, so this race makes a lot of sense, and young Adam O’Neill is a perfect one from one on him.

We know the horse likes Galway’s idiosyncratic circuit, and off top weight he’s a sporting play to get us off to a flying start at 10/1 each way with Paddy Power.

If it isn’t already by this point the ‘Weldometer’ should begin ticking come race three (6.15pm), with his True Solitaire taken to make experience count by winning the Claregalwayhotel.ie & EBF Maiden over seven furlongs.

The Oasis Dream colt comes here off the back of a solid second at Gowran Park on debut, lining up in a race where his legendary trainer has repeatedly worked his magic down the years.

In fact, so good is his record in this that both BetVictor and Paddy Power will lay us just 5/4 on this occasion.

The big one on the opening day rolls around at 6.50pm, post time for the Connacht Hotel (QR) Handicap, a two mile flat marathon restricted to amateur riders.

The possibilities are endless, something which will delight bookmakers far and wide, but one who could run a mighty race at double figure odds is Jessica Harrington’s Modem, with the five-year-old sneaking in at the bottom of the weights after his slick win at Killarney.

At home on any ground, this is a very talented hurdler who knows how to get the job done on the level, and with Mrs Harrington enjoying an excellent season (eight win in the last 14 days) he’d be no surprise winner.

Daughter Kate can take five pounds off, and Modem has an excellent each way chance at 10/1 with Paddy Power.

Let battle commence.

Good luck!

Monday’s best bets at Galway:

5.45 – Easyfix Rubber Products Handicap Hurdle – 1 Beckwith Star (each way) @ 10/1 (Paddy Power)

6.15 – Claregalwayhotel.ie & EBF Maiden – 9 True Solitaire (win) @ 5/4 (BetVictor and Paddy Power)

6.50 – Connacht Hotel (QR) Handicap – 19 Modem (each way) @ 10/1 (Paddy Power)

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Posted 3 years, 3 months ago

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