Davy Condon: Ruby Walsh has selected a gem in Diakali for Galway Hurdle
Published 30/07/2015 | 02:30
Race week at Galway seems to take so long to get here and once it's here, it goes by in the blink of an eye.
Yesterday we had the Plate, today Guinness take over with the feature race the Galway Hurdle which is one of the highlights of the calendar.
Twelve months ago myself and Bayan were second here. It was actually the third year on the bounce that myself and Gordon Elliott had beaten all but one in the festival feature. And while it's a big ask for him to do it again, I think he has the experience and the class to be in the shake-up.
Tony Martin has a strong hand in this race with last year's winner Thomas Edison looking to become just the second horse to put back-to-back wins in the Galway Hurdle together after Pinch Hitter in 1982-'83.
But I think it could be worth watching another of his string in Quick Jack. He's in at a nice weight and the trainer knows what it takes to win here.
Those two should be in the shake-up as they turn for home but I think Willie Mullins is going to cap a good week and win it with Diakali.
Willie has five in the race as he looks to win the Hurdle for the first time since 1996 and the six-year-old Diakali is Ruby Walsh's choice of those entries which is always a decent indicator.
He's top-weight which is a concern but the higher rated horses seem to go better in the Hurdle than in the Plate and this looks like a race that Mullins is intent on winning and I think he has the ammunition here.
The day's action starts at 1.50 and I'm going for another of Willie's in the opening race with As De Ferbet. He was second in Kilbeggan on his last run but should improve from that and underline the good form Mullins' horses have shown this week.
My nap of the day comes in the Novices chase at 2.20 when Jessica Harrington and Barry Geraghty can team up with Rock The World and take the spoils. He seems to jump well, ran first and second on his last two outings and if that form holds up. I don't think he'll be beaten here
Rock Critic jumps off the page for me in the handicap at 3.0. Dermot Weld's charge has won here before and I always think course form is a big factor, so Rock Critic can initiate a quick double for Weld.
Tested is top weight in the Listed contest at 3.30 but that's with good reason. She has won in Listed company before and that immediately marks her out as the class horse in the race. She has plenty of experience too so everything points in her direction.
Sandymount Duke can bring a touch of rock 'n' roll to the day if he obliges for Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood in the Novice Hurdle. He's already won in places like Kilbeggan and Tipperary and can continue that progression here.
The penultimate race of the day looks like a lottery but I've gone for Bog War while Prince D'Aubrelle could be the one in the Bumper.
1.50 - As De Ferbet
2.20 - Rock The World (Nap)
3.00 - Rock Critic
3.30 - Tested
4.05 - Sandymount Duke
4.45 - Diakali
5.25 - Bog War
6.00 - Prince D'Aubrelle