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Another good day in store for JP McManus at Ballybrit

Galway's marathon seven-day meeting reaches its penultimate point tomorrow with the €45,000 Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle the feature event over two-mile and five furlongs of the Ballybrit track.

Five-year-old Off The Charts returned to form and caused a bit of an upset when winning at the Punchestown Festival back in May. Despite winning there he only got a six-pound hike from the handicapper - and after being put away since then Dessie Hughes' charge could still be well treated and can hopefully make his mark yet again.

It has been a good week so far for JP McManus who owns Off The Charts and while he wouldn't want the ground to be as quick as it has been, the rain due prior to tomorrow evening's fare should suit the son of Beneficial.

Hughes may well be able to bookend the card with a double as he runs Sheamus in the concluding bumper. Third on debut behind a subsequent maiden hurdle winner called Alton Bay, Sheamus has the form in the book to return to the winners' enclosure.

It could be doubles all round as JP McManus can start with an opening race victory courtesy of Aidan O'Brien's Marchese Marconi.

A tough opener, the two-mile maiden has attracted plenty of horses with bits and pieces of form but Marcese Marconi probably sets the standard despite running here earlier in the week.

The five-year-old was drawn wide and from there had little chance in Monday's feature contest but that should have taken little out of him so the four-time winner can make a victorious start over hurdles.

A horse who is no stranger to winning over jumps or on the flat is the Niall Madden-trained Shake The Bucket and he could prove to be a real popular family winner when he lines up in the 1m6f handicap on the flat where Socks Madden, son of the winning trainer, gets the leg up. The tough and genuine seven-year-old was bred by the trainer's wife, Trish, and is owned by daughter Sarah Ann and has won nine in total for the Madden's. With a bit of luck in running he can claim a ninth career success.

It's hard to believe a Galway column could get this far without mentioning Dermot Weld and his best chance on the penultimate day looks to be the Lady O'Reilly-owned filly Sierra Sun who was narrowly denied on debut but will hopefully go one better on this occasion.

The colours of Jackie Bolger were carried to victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery last year when Focussed won for trainer Brendan Duke and the same owner will look on tomorrow as her husband Jim sends out Intense Style to try and oblige on this occasion.

By the same sire, Intense Focus, as last year's victor, Intense Style was a winner at the Curragh and wasn't disgraced at Naas in listed company last time.


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