Serve Time can blaze a trail to seal home comfort for Gilligan
The Galway Blazers Chase is always well contested and tonight's renewal is no different.
I ride Another Ambition for Tony Martin. He isn't a horse that I have ridden before so I don't know that much about him, but he won around Ballybrit over hurdles at the August meeting last year. That is always a bonus.
On his last start at Bellewstown he was fourth to Corrick Bridge, which ran a nice race to be second here on Wednesday. With a bit of luck, then, Another Ambition could run into a place.
Off a light weight, Mr Bones will have a big say under Bryan Cooper. He is a really solid jumper and stays well, and you couldn't knock his two recent wins.
Serve Time may be the one to beat, though. Paul Gilligan always tries to have one ready for his local festival and this fellow was very impressive when he won at Limerick last week.
He has been placed here over hurdles before and was even good enough to run in the Galway Hurdle a couple of years ago. On just his fourth chasing start, he can go close.
I'd also be pretty keen on Dermot Weld's Rainforest Magic in the amateur riders' hurdle. Given the standard of his performance when he won here on Tuesday, you'd have to suspect that he might not be badly treated on his first try in a handicap hurdle.
The Flat race that Rainforest Magic won on Tuesday was over two miles, so two and a quarter won't be an issue for him now over jumps. Rockyaboya could be the danger.
When he made his debut for Willie Mullins at Cork recently, he ran a solid race to be second. You'd imagine that he could only improve for that.
The night's feature, the Guinness Handicap, is wide open. Joanna Morgan's Mountain Pride might surprise a few with a big run in this.
He loves to get his toe in a little, and he will get that after the drop of rain and watering that we have had here this week.
When he finished down the field at Fairyhouse last time, they went no gallop early on and that wouldn't suit him at all.
Mountain Pride stays well, so the strong pace that they go around here will be right up his street. If you ignore his last run, he was very impressive at Leopardstown the time before that.
John Oxx's Dawariya should also be thereabouts under Niall McCullagh, but Jumbo Rio may be the one to focus on.
He has won or been placed on his last 10 Flat starts, and he is a tough horse that should appreciate the Galway hill. I'd be very surprised if he doesn't turn in a serious performance.
The Bull Hayes is another that I like in the last race. This is a competitive event, but The Bull Hayes has been placed in Listed company around here before.
Again, he is a horse that stays well, so I'd expect him to put up a big show.
While Address Unknown is the obvious danger, Fleur De Nuit could also be a threat.
She was a fine winner on the Flat at Ballinrobe recently, and doesn't have much mileage on the clock compared to some of these.
Rainforest Magic (5.10) and Jumbo Rio (6.50)