THE sun was beaming down on Galway yesterday and it was another major win for Johnny Burke as he guided Shanahan's Turn to win the Galway Plate for Henry de Bromhead and I'm absolutely thrilled for him.
Johnny is a brilliant rider and has really flourished in his job for Alan and Ann Potts an that is just yet another of many big winners he will undoubtedly enjoy throughout his career.
I would have ridden out with Johnny when he was in Willie's and it couldn't happen to a nicer fella and he gave it a lovely positive ride and Henry had the horse in tip-top shape for the big day.
I believe Mrs Potts has been under the weather lately and hopefully that win will have given her a great lift and they have been great supporters of the game.
There was a sad postscript to the race however as the Ryan family lost Foildubh in the Galway Plate following a fall at the second fence.
That was a real shame as he had been a fantastic servant for them and ran in all the good races and I'm sure he was a real favourite and hopefully his jockey Ryan Treacey will be ok and Danny Mullins who also had a fall in the Plate.
Looking ahead to tomorrow and I'll be cheering on Clondaw Warrior in the big race of the evening.
Trained by Willie and owned by my sister-in-law Gillian and a gang of friends, he won at Royal Ascot last month and gave them all a day to remember and if he could win this it would be the icing on the cake. Unfortunately he was too lowly rated to get into the Galway Hurdle but this race is worth a lot of money an there'll be plenty of shouting done if he turns into the straight in contention!
Two horses I won bumpers on, Western Boy and Mr Diablo, meet in the opening race of the day and they both also missed the cut for the Galway Hurdle today but I think Western Boy might be able to shade it.
He is a good horse and if you look back through his form he ran some real nice races in the winter in good company and wasn't beaten that far by Vautour a couple of times including at the Cheltenham Festival.
He's a horse who could have run well in a Galway Plate off a light weight but may make up for missing that by winning tomorrow's first race. There is no doubt that Mouse Morris' horse Rule The World was the most unlucky in the Galway Plate when he slipped up when seemingly still full of running. That's racing unfortunately and those things happen but you have to wonder what part he would have played if he had got over the last.
Tomorrow Mouse runs the Midlands National winner Ravished in the Galway Plate and hopefully he'll be able to enjoy a bit more luck and win for Gigginstown.
It's not often you see a horse win four handicaps on the bounce like he is attempting to do but Mouse's horses are in good form at the minute, they're all running well and it is possible that Ravished is still a step in front of the handicapper and can take this race over the Galway Plate course and distance.
I have been travelling up and down to Galway each day this week but it's been a good one so far and I'm sure those staying up since Monday (or even Sunday!) are starting to feel the stamina levels dropping at this stage.
I look forward to going back up the road today though to ride Thousand Stars in the Galway Hurdle, it's a great opportunity again and fingers crossed we'll have a good spin around and a bit of luck in running and we'll see where it takes us after that.
5.10 Western Boy
6.50 Clondaw Warrior
2.20 Sizing Platinum
6.0 Western Warrior (e/w)