Elliott's Bonus can give your Bank a boost in Galway opener
Gordon Elliott has booked Nina Carberry to ride Bank Bonus in the opening Handicap Hurdle (5.10) and he also has talented 7lb claimer Lisa O'Neill riding one of his other entries Disputed. Both horses raced here earlier this week and could be ahead of the handicapper.
Of the two, I'm most keen on Bank Bonus around 8/1, which was second to 12/1 shot Powersbomb (tipped here) in a handicap hurdle on Wednesday. He raided a prize at Perth recently and has excelled since Elliott took over training. Paul Carberry rides Elliott's other runner Tempo Mac.
I suspect Prove The Point (5.45) will go off as favourite around 11/4 in the Guinness Median Auction Maiden (5.45). She was out of her depth in Group company last time but she didn't cost a whole lot to buy so I'm sure connections were well pleased with her 50/1 second place in a Tipperary maiden. Protaras is worth considering each-way in the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase (6.15) around 20/1. Noel Meade's gelding was last seen putting in a dismal performance in the Midlands National at Kilbeggan but he's the kind of horse which has an occasional off day. Previously, he found plenty to win a Galway Plate trial at Limerick.
In the Guinness Handicap (6.50), I like the look of Show Court for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen. Chalked up at 13/2 in the early markets, he hasn't raced in a while but Weld can be trusted to have him fit and ready for Galway.
Weld runs Pictogram in the following Guinness Maiden (7.25) and although it's rare I'll back an unraced colt, I'll make an exception here. Since 2003, Weld has sent out 25 unraced horses at the Festival and ten of those have won.
Ask Miss Byron gets a tentative each-way vote in the Arthur Guinness Handicap (8.0) at what should be a big price. She ran poorly to finish mid-division in a low grade handicap at Fairyhouse last time but the handicapper has dropped her 5lbs since, and it looks to be a wide open race.
Certerach (Nap) has 6lbs in hand on official ratings and can take the closing Guinness Race (8.30), priced around 5/2.
This one won the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in 2014 and while it's fair to say his form has been up and down since, connections still have confidence in him judging by the fact that he's got a number of Group entries for later on in the season.
5.10 - Bank Bonus
5.45 - Prove The Point
6.15 - Protaras (e/w)
6.50 - Show Court
7.25 - Pictogram
8.00 - Ask Miss Byron (e/w)
8.30 - Certerach (Nap)