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Dawn can rise and reward McNamara

It might be hard to believe that we are well into the summer, but that certainly is the case as the Galway Festival has crept up on us very quickly.

It doesn't seem that long since Punchestown, and seeing all my winter horses return after their summer break was a welcome but slightly scary sight as it won't be long before we are in the thick of the winter months.

We must enjoy the summer while we have it, though, and there is nowhere better to do that than at the Galway Festival. It truly is a great meeting, and if you can at all make sure and make your way to Ballybrit for a couple of days racing and definitely a couple of nights out on the town.

Things get underway this evening and go all the way through until Sunday, and tonight's big race is the amateur handicap which has been a bit of a Dermot Weld benefit in recent years.

This year he runs Sublime Talent and has booked Roger Quinlan for Dr Lambe's four-year-old. He will of course be there or thereabouts but I am going to start the week off by going for a bit of an outsider in Pat O'Donnell's Keep It Cool, who has a cool man on his back in Colm Motherway.

He was a very impressive winner at Killarney not so long ago, and with a light weight he might be a big-priced sort that gets punters off to an all-important good start.

Looking ahead to tomorrow evening's action, and over jumps, it is very difficult to oppose Dermot Weld in the first race as Universal Truth seems to hold plenty of class that should see him through opening his account over hurdles at this time of asking.

In the second race, Jimmy Lambe's Natal, which won this race last year, acts on the track and is a very classy individual.

The trainer's horses are starting to hit peak form and he is probably one of the soundest bets of the day.

The big race on day two is the Topaz Galway Mile and Drombeag Dawn is a filly that deserves to claim a race like this for her trainer, Andrew McNamara.

In recent years both Andrew's sons, Andrew and Robbie, have stole the plaudits on the track and while neither will be involved here, Andrew senior has acquired the services of Billy Lee for this ultra-consistent four-year-old who will have no problem with the ground or the trip.

Tony Mullins' horses have also hit a purple patch recently. He won this race last year with Rock And Roll Kid, and they won't be far away again even with the weight burden.

Pat Flynn won twice here last year with Bahrain Storm and it will be interesting to see how he runs in Thursday's Galway Hurdle, but Pat looks like having a great chance tomorrow with Mon Champion for the same owner in the third race.

Dermot Weld's Palm Ridge has the form capable of giving him a first and last race double tomorrow, while Miss Eze would be a popular winner for Paul Cashman and Paul Deegan's Love For Love is the selection in the third last.

Conor's Choice

5.10 Universal Truth

5.45 Natal

6.20 Mon Champion

7.00 Drombeag Dawn

7.35 Love For Love

8.05 Miss Eze

8.35 Palm Ridge