Sunday 26 January 2020

Galway 2017 - All your Day Two top tips as the action in Ballybrit continues


Whiskey Sour, with Aubrey McMahon up (second left), on the way to winning the Connacht Hotel Handicap. Photo: PA Newsdesk

Get all your top tips for Day Two of the Galway Festival from our top team of experts.


Willie Mullins has a formidable team as day two of the Galway extravaganza commences, with the ground remaining on the easy side.

Riven Light represents the champion trainer in the feature event, what was known as the Galway Mile, the weights for which are headed by the Dermot Weld-trained Tandem.

Riven Light has a somewhat unusual profile for this race, but it is better to have proven stamina than proven pace in races as demanding as this, especially with the hill to come.

Brian Ellison has done especially well at Galway in recent years - a long way from his base in the north of England - and he tends to stick around until late in the week, often targeting today's feature and Sunday's with the same horses. He enjoys his time in the West and is always to be respected by punters.

A really intriguing race of the day is the fillies' maiden, which is becoming a race laden with promising, well-bred sorts from the top stables. However, the ground may yet rule out one or two of these, in a race in which Dermot Weld, Aidan O'Brien, Ger Lyons, Jim Bolger and Kevin Prendergast all have a runner.

A little rain fell in Galway yesterday, but drying conditions prevailed also. The going is yielding for the jumpers and soft for the Flat horses, with some more showers expected over the next day or two.

5.20 COLM QUINN BMW Novice Hurdle 2m110yds

This is a cracking start to day two. Housesofparliament was one of the highest-rated Flat horses to take to hurdling, having finished third in the Leger last year when trained by Aidan O'Brien, and his jumping debut was promising when second at Leopardstown to Meri Devie.

He then rather flopped in hot company but it is early days, Joseph O'Brien (who took the first race yesterday for JP McManus) is in smashing form and he escapes a penalty in this contest, meaning he gets weight off most.

Housesofparliament merely gives 2lb to Law Girl, which produced a professional performance in winning a reasonable Roscommon maiden last time for Willie Mullins. She is held in high regard.

This may be between those two but the John Kiely-handled Deor is getting his act together and could run well, though owner Brian Gleeson believes this race is too tough for him. Morgan has a tough task giving weight away, Cinema De Quartier - the mount of Bryan Cooper - possibly the better Gigginstown runner.

Verdict: Housesofparliament

5.55 Latin Quarter Beginners Steeplechase 2m2f54yds

This is a classy maiden and it could be a pivotal race if, as the betting suggests, Willie Mullins and Joseph O'Brien fight out the trainers' title at Galway.

All The Answers, trained by O'Brien, was a decent hurdler and warmed up for this with a pleasing second behind Our Dougal at Killarney, when Bilko was back in third. If he comes on from that, he must go well.

Bamako Moriviere, however, was a superior hurdler; that said, he must prove that he has gotten over his fall on his chase debut at Kilbeggan. On the balance of things, that was probably just an aberration, and he can leave that accident behind him.

Three Wise Men was also a faller last time but he is a classy horse and, rated 135, certainly comes into the argument. Henry de Bromhead will have him in fine shape for this contest.

Verdict: Bamako Moriviere

6.25 COLM QUINN BMW Irish EBF Fillies Maiden 7f

This is one of the races of the day, a seriously hot contest potentially, and the betting ring will come alive. The ground, however, may have a big role in the outcome.

Dermot Weld won this with Eziyra, subsequently Classic-placed, and again teams up with the Aga Khan in the form of Raynama, which ran quite a pleasing race in a Curragh maiden in late June, given a pretty tender ride.

She seems certain to come on a good deal. However, she will need to in this company, as Active Approach ran better on debut for Jim Bolger when third at Leopardstown, when she looked extremely green.

However, behind her that day was Conquest and, given how the Ballydoyle fillies by Galileo can progress from their debut - as well as the colts - she has to be feared. Another one that has to be strongly feared is Moghamarah, which probably has the best form by virtue of her second on debut.

The main worry for Conquest, which is a sister of the brilliant and now retired Minding, is that the ground is perhaps softer than ideal.

Her stablemate, the Ballydoyle runner Sizzling, made a bright start to action when third to classy stablemate Happily at the Curragh and though she was unable to justify favouritsm since at Newmarket, the mount of Donnacha O'Brien is feared.

Verdict: Conquest

7.05 Caulfield Industrial Irish EBF Maiden 7f

Espoir D'soleil could be one for the Dermot Weld team here. By Galileo, she is a half-sister to no less than seven winners, including Casual Conquest, one-time Derby favourite (third to New Approach in 2008). She would not need to be out of this world to win this, as it does not seem an especially hot maiden in terms of the form on offer.

One of the form picks looks to be Dochasach, trained by Jim Bolger, but runners he has by Intense Focus are far from guaranteed to improve markedly from their debut on general evidence. Maysonnette, which ran a lovely race at the Curragh only on Saturday, is feared more but has a horrible draw.

Eddie Lynam's two runners today both run on this card and Dreaming Of Gold is probably better than her rating of 65, yet the draw in 15 is not encouraging.

Verdict: Espoir D'soleil

7.40 COLM QUINN BMW Mile Handicap 1m123yds

The big race of the night and no doubt a case can be made for most of the runners. Tandem heads the weights, has a middling draw and the bonus of being a course-and-distance winner for Dermot Weld, who has a formidable record in this.

Tandem has the distinction of winning for Rosewell House when the stable's runners were very quiet.

Weld has five wins in this since the start of the 1990s, but so does Kevin Prendergast and the 85-year-old trainer relies on Mizaah, in the gate next to Tandem and renewing rivalry with Tony The Gent, which beat him narrowly at the Curragh but has the worst of the draw now.

Baraweez has a fine record in this (second, third and fifth) and he is not too badly drawn, with Ellison again looking to a claimer in Sean Davis. He is still only seven and has to be considered.

"He's back down to a decent mark and loves it at Galway," said Ellison. "My only worry is that he wouldn't want too much more rain, it's been pouring down. He's fresh and well, he's bucking and kicking and in good form.

"Sean has a good reputation and I've asked a few people about him who speak very highly of him," Ellison added. "In races like this every pound counts so if you've got a good lad taking 7lb off it makes a big difference."

Ellison's Dream Walker is another who has won at Galway before but has been disappointing so far this year.

"Dream Walker will love the ground but needs to bounce back to form," he went on. "I thought he was coming back to himself having run a good race at Chester but then he ran no race at all at Newmarket.

"He ran well twice here last year, including winning, so that might spark him back to life."

Riven Light drops back markedly in yardage, having been touched off at the Curragh, which was preceded by a hurdling campaign in which he developed into a useful jumper.

Fuwairt is an interesting addition to the Gavin Cromwell barn, yet he is pacy and may just find the hill and the distance combined a little too much.

Verdict: Riven Light

8.10 Caulfield Industrial Handicap 1m123yds

Peter Fahey has had a fine year and Serefeli's appeal is obvious now under the excellent Billy Lee. Once with Dermot Weld, he went close at Naas on lively ground last time but may be a shade better over this trip on easy ground, up just 1lb in the ratings.

Usa wants farther ideally but he is in winning form for his local stable and it is possible that he could run well. John Levins' Zippy has won her last two, travelling easily on the all-weather last time, and she is not without a chance.

Verdict: Serefeli

8.40 Handicap 7f

The Adrian McGuinness-trained Beau Satchel's form at Galway is 011313 and the chances are this has been his plan. Moreover, the little bit of rain that Galway has predictably enjoyed will be right up the street of this runner.

One must forgive him some ordinary recent runs but his eight of 20 in a Premier Handicap at the Curragh in late May reads well and he is 4lb lower now.

The Galileo-bred Allegio came good at Killarney after some consistent efforts and remains fairly weighed, yet the draw in 13 may be a little troubling at this track. One at a bigger price to consider is John Feane's Midnitemudcrabs, which seems certain to attack from the stalls from a low draw and which likes an ease.

Feane, a young Curragh trainer, has made a fine impression with modest resources.

Verdict: Beau Satchel

Our expert's tips


5.20: Law Girl

5.55: Bamako Moriviere

6.25: Moghamarah

7.05: Cascavelle

7.40: Riven Light

8.10: Usa

8.40: Grainne's Dream


5.20 Housesofparliament

5.55 Bamako Moriviere

6.25 Conquest

7.05 Espoir D'soleil

7.40 Riven Light

8.10 Serefeli

8.40 Beau Satchel


5.20 Cinema De Quartier

5.55 Bamako Moriviere

6.25 Sizzling

7.05 Espoir D'soleil

7.40 Tony The Gent

8.10 Storm Ranger

8.40 Honour Oak


5.20 Law Girll

5.55 All The Answers

6.25 Conquest

7.05 Maysonette

7.40 Riven Light

8.10 Serefeli

8.40 Allegio


5.20 Housesofparliament

5.55 Bamako Moriviere

6.25 Sizzling

7.05 Espoir D'soleil

7.40 Riven Light

8.10 Serefeli

8.40 Beau Satchel


5.20 Law Girl

5.55 Three Wise Men

6.25 Sizzling

7.05 Espoir D'soleil

7.40 Gold Spinner

8.10 Usa

8.40 Mo Henry


5.20 Deor

5.55 Bamako Moriviere

6.25 Sizzling

7.05 Espoir D'soleil

7.40 Baraweez

8.10 Storm Ranger

8.40 Allegio

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