I've a sneaky feeling that Parlour can defy odds for Ferguson
Galway Festival Betting Ring
As a general rule, British-trained horses don't have a great record in the Galway Hurdle (4.55), although in 2010, Donald McCain's Overturn ran a cracker carrying 11st 6lb to take the prize across the water for the first time since 1991.
Since then, normal service has been resumed with horses trained by Paul Flynn and Michael Winters (twice) claiming the richest National Hunt race in Ireland.
Of course, British-trained horses only made up a small percentage of all runners down through the years, so it would be foolish to overlook them based on a small sample size – and I've a sneaky feeling that John Ferguson's Parlour Games has a better chance than odds of 12/1 would suggest.
With four wins on the Flat and two over hurdles, the six-year-old certainly has talent and even though his weight of 10st 12lbs off 141 might appear restrictive, he gave the impression that he has plenty of improving to come when defying a penalty to land a facile victory in a novices' hurdle at Market Rasen a couple of weeks ago.
That was just his third race since switching from the Flat, and from what we've seen so far, a decent future awaits under the winter code.
Leading Irish fancies Thomas Edison (4/1) and Bayan (7/1) will certainly be no pushovers, but with some bookmakers offering five places on each-way bets, it's worth taking a chance on a talented horse at a double-figure price.
In the opening beginners' chase (1.50), Elegant Statesman can get the Ladies Day crowd off to a flying start with layers expected to open up around carpet (3/1) for the Henry de Bromhead-trained gelding.
The assessor had piled the lead on following some notable performances last season and it all came to a head when the son of Vinnie Roe could make no impression in a handicap at Leopardstown at Christmas.
He got back on track when coming second in a maiden chase after seven months off at Kilbeggan recently, and the JP McManus-owned seven-year-old has enough talent to see off the likes of Tylers Cottage and Our Man Zebo.
Half an hour later, Alelchi Inois (11/10) is napped to take the Guinness Harp Novice Chase (2.20).
A French import, he won a maiden hurdle on his first start for Willie Mullins last year and he went in the notebook as definitely one to watch over sticks, but later made no impact when stepped up in class to graded level.
Mullins has since tried him out over fences and that's where his future lies it seems, with two wins in that sphere in as many races.
Finally, Dermot Weld's Tested should take all the beating at 3/1 in the Listed Fillies Stakes (3.40).
She finished mid-division in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, but bounced back to form when taking a Listed race with a bit to spare at Naas last time.
1.50: Elegant Statesman
2.20: Alelchi Inois (nap)
3.00: Sister Slew
4.15: Ground Invasion
4.55: Parlour Games (e/w)
5.35: Pirate Cove
6.05: Clondaw Farmer
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