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Have a Crafty one on the Butcher to land the big prize


Willie Mullins. Photo: Sportsfile

Willie Mullins. Photo: Sportsfile

Willie Mullins. Photo: Sportsfile

Galway is a unique enough sort of track but when the rain comes it really does bring it to another level so it'll be a bit of a survival of the fittest if they get any more rain there for the weekend.

It's some marathon of a week but the prize money is top class and you just have to look at how competitive the racing is to appreciate that everyone wants to be here.

Today and tomorrow will see a number of trainers bringing horses back quickly, which is something probably done more at Galway than anywhere else, but that is down to the amazing prize money.

Willie Mullins has had a massive week and I struggle to look beyond him for the two €100,000 races this weekend.

Today can be the turn of The Crafty Butcher in the 2m6f handicap hurdle. He has only completed one of his last three runs and might not be an obvious choice but he is a horse with ability and was probably a bit unlucky in big handicap chases earlier in the season. He deserves to claim a big pot.

Ruby had the choice of Willie's here so Ruby too obviously feels there's the potential for The Crafty Butcher to exploit his more lenient hurdle mark.

Willie's son, Patrick, owns a share in The Crafty Butcher, but he's back in the saddle himself in the bumper which he should win with True Self.

Riven Light was an impressive winner here on Tuesday night and will have to carry a 7lb penalty but this looks a lesser race so the fact that he'll have to shoulder top weight wouldn't put me off.

Again, you'd probably want to be looking at Patrick for the bumper. The last race of the week looks like a very good race to be fair, but Ainsi Va La Vie is a seven-year-old mare who connections waited for four years to run and she looked worth the wait when bolting up at Limerick.

This will be a much bigger test but you get the impression she's very highly thought of.

Jessie has a few runners over the weekend and the one I like the most is Nearly Famous in the Terry Cunningham Memorial Handicap today. She won a charity race well at the Curragh last time out and shouldn't mind an ease in the ground so can run well.

The ground would need to dry out a bit for Mr Fiftyone and Neverushacon in the handicap chase tomorrow and if that doesn't happen, Tom George's horse, Noche De Reyes would be my pick.

Babanango is one to keep an eye on in the first tomorrow. I was going to win on him last year but we fell at the last and Tony Martin loves a Galway winner so this horse should be well primed.

Robbie's tips

Galway today

Big Ben (2.30)

The Crafty Butcher (3.05)

Amedeo Modigliani (3.40)

Deep Breath (4.15)

Dinky Inty (4.50)

Nearly Famous (5.25)

True Self (5.55)

Galway tomorrow

Babanango (2.15)

Static Jack (2.45)

Darkolva (3.20)

Riven Light (3.55)

Shaneshill (4.30)

Noche De Reyes (5.00)

Dara Tango (5.30)

Ainsi Va La Vie (6.00)