Monday 19 August 2019

Galway Races, Day Two: All your top tips from our team of experts

29 July 2019; Great White Shark, with Jody Townend up, crosses the line to win the Connacht Hotel Handicap during Day One of the Galway Races Summer Festival 2019 in Ballybrit, Galway. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
29 July 2019; Great White Shark, with Jody Townend up, crosses the line to win the Connacht Hotel Handicap during Day One of the Galway Races Summer Festival 2019 in Ballybrit, Galway. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Trainer Dermot Weld. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Given his storied history at Galway and the moniker of 'King of Ballybrit' which he carried for 30 years or so, it would be fitting for legendary trainer Dermot Weld to land a significant blow at the 150th edition.

With the likes of Willie Mullins and Aidan O'Brien taking centre stage more and more at each Galway Festival, Weld has been forced to play second fiddle but a chance to bite back may come in tonight's prestigious mile handicap.

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5.20 Listed COLM QUINN BMW Novice Hurdle 2m110yds

Mullins has won three of the last four renewals - including with dual Cheltenham Festival winner Penhill in 2016 - and the market is generally a very good guide with those at the top end thriving.

Only five go to post and Mullins' French recruit Fast Buck will take plenty of stopping having hosed up at Listowel last month and finishing four lengths ahead of Gordon Elliott's Road To Dubai when they clashed in a Cork maiden hurdle in January.

Joseph O'Brien's Fine Brunello has Grade Two form having been well beaten by stablemate Fakir D'oudairies at Cheltenham before finding the going too tough in the Fred Winter at the Festival and he may find one or two better than him here.

Charles Byrnes' Turnpike Trip was friendless in the betting before making a winning debut over jumps at Cork earlier this month and turned over a Mullins' hotpot so he could prove to be next best to Fast Buck.

Verdict: Paul Townend can help make a Fast Buck for punters in the opener.

5.55 Latin Quarter Beginners Chase 2m2f54yds

Cousins Emmet and David Mullins combined to land this last year with St Stephens Green and they have a formidable contender in Zero Ten, winner of the valuable Auction Hurdle Series Final at the Punchestown Festival in the spring.

The six-year-old stands head and shoulders above these based on hurdles form and given that he is a dual course winner - including at last year's Festival - there is little to deter punters from getting stuck in.

If he takes to fences - he won a point-to-point at Inchydoney in a canter two years ago - he is easily the one to beat with James Lambe's Kasakh Noir likely to throw down the gauntlet.

A useful juvenile hurdler when trained by Dan Skelton, Rachael Blackmore's mount should leave two off-colour displays behind while Steve Mahon's Ballybrit lover Stormey may squeak a place.

Verdict: Zero Ten (Nap) should be a class apart.

6.25 COLM QUINN BMW Irish EBF Fillies Maiden 7f 2yo

This was won by subsequent England/Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Hermosa 12 months ago and there's lots of quality again today in a race which Aidan O'Brien (four wins) and Weld (three) have dominated in the last decade.

O'Brien has three contenders with Leopardstown fourth Petite Mustique looking the best of the trio, while Weld relies on Azila, which was just behind the Ballydoyle runner that day at the Foxrock track.

Chasing The Dawn has to be highly respected given the outstanding form which Jessica Harrington's two-year-olds have shown this season, while Paddy Twomey's Raven's Cry should build on her second at Bellewstown earlier this month.

The best form available is that of Fozzy Stack's Too Soon To Panic, however, with the Gleneagles filly having subsequent Group Three winner Love, as well as Petite Mustique, behind when third on debut at Leopardstown last month with the winner Cayenne Pepper since franking the form in good style.

Verdict: Too Soon To Panic can scare the bookies under Chris Hayes.

7.05 Caulfield Industrial Irish EBF Maiden 7f

Weld has won this five times in the last decade - all of which were odds-on jollies - but there is no certainty this time around for the Master of Rosewell house as he relies on Tranchee.

Beaten on all three starts, the son of War Front has it all to do with much better expected of Kevin Prendergast's Mudlahhim after looking a non-stayer over 1m1f last time out. The drop back to seven furlongs should bring out the best of him in what is an average renewal.

There doesn't look to be any stand-out candidate with Darren Bunyan's 87-rated Limit Long, Harrington's consistent Dancing On A Dream and Henry de Bromhead's Tipperary second Royal Highness all respected but not feared.

Verdict: Mudlahhim can bounce back to form and score for Hayes.

7.40 COLM QUINN BMW Mile Handicap 1m123yds

With €120,000 up for grabs, it's no surprise to see some English interest in tonight's feature with Mark Johnston sending over Rufus King, while Brian Ellison makes his annual pilgrimage to Ballybrit with Baraweez.

Baraweez has two Festival victories to his name and is a regular fixture for the past five years but looks past his best having finished 14th in this 12 months ago and the prize should stay on Irish soil.

Fresh from victory in a lucrative handicap at Leopardstown earlier this month, Sheila Lavery's Magnetic North catches the eye with a 3lb raise in the weights more than fair as the four-year-old eyes a hat-trick.

Peter Fahey's Hamley - fourth behind Magnetic North - is another to note along with Harrington's Onlyhuman but Weld may be the man to follow once again with Jassaar.

A premier handicap victory at the Curragh in May was followed by a brave effort in defeat in another good handicap at the Kildare track on Derby weekend and there may be more to come from the lightly-raced four-year-old at a venue his trainer farmed for years.

Verdict: Ben Coen can land the odds on Weld's Jassaar.

8.10 Caulfield Industrial Handicap 1m123yds

There are some interesting contenders up the top of the weights with Michael Mulvany's Passing Trade - runner-up on her last two runs - and Peter Fahey's Dance Emperor worth a second glance.

Gavin Cromwell's handicap debutant Conamara Handshake is also respected after improving with every run before finishing second at Bellewstown for a trainer in form.

Those lower down the handicap may thrive, however, with John Murphy's Killarney winner Sharp Focus a live contender under former champion jockey Colin Keane while Blankiedoodie is of particular interest.

John McConnell's charge has scored wins at Gowran Park, Listowel and Bellewstown in quick succession and hasn't been harshly hit by the handicapper with Gavin Ryan's 7lb claim meaning he runs off a mark of 59, 1lb lower than his last win.

Verdict: Blankiedoodie can prove to be a dandy choice for punters.

8.40 Handicap 7f

There have been some shock winners in the last ten years with 25/1, 20/1 (twice), 14/1 and 12/1 shots obliging and this year's renewal looks no easier for punters.

Denis Hogan saddles four runners with Atlas having place claims based on some solid performances in decent handicaps but he is hardly the most inspiring choice.

The draw comes into the equation in a 16-runner field and while Highly Approved coming out of stall 14 isn't a plus, her recent form is.

Ado McGuiness' four-year-old hasn't been out of the first two in her last four starts - including a Bellewstown win - and is selected while stablemate War Hero should also be noted.

Verdict: Shane Foley can steer Highly Approved home in the last.



5.20: Turnpike Trip

5.55: Zero Ten

6.25: Too Soon To Panic

7.05: Tranchee

7.40: Magnetic North

8.10: Passing Trade

8.40: Sors



5.20: Fine Brunello

5.55: Zero Ten

6.25: Azila

7.05: Dancing On A Dream

7.40: Turnberry Isle

8.10: Blankiedoodie

8.40: Highly Approved



5.20: Fast Buck

5.55: Zero Ten

6.25: Azila

7.05: Limit Long

7.40: Rufus King

8.10: Dance Emperor

8.40: Highly Approved



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