Law Girl ready to rule in opener and Riven Light can shine in Mile
It is exciting to be represented by some smart runners this afternoon at Ballybrit, on the level and over Jumps, and it would be a poor day if we could not at least bang in one.
At Galway one cannot take things for granted, especially as it is getting more competitive year on year, but there is no getting away from the talented performers we have on duty on day two.
My nap goes in the opening novice hurdle, in which my father Willie runs Law Girl, a daughter of Lawman which shows an awful lot at home.
Those who were disappointed with her hurdling debut for us must note that she got a real fright when jumping the first hurdle and it was a case of putting a line through that.
She went to Roscommon last time and won in fine style, befitting what she had been showing on the gallops in Closutton.
That race was no cakewalk, and the remote second - The Birdie Crowe - managed to score easily since at Limerick.
Law Girl has a big engine and I would be disappointed if she didn't get us off to a good start on day two.
Of the dangers, Housesofparliament has very good Flat form and one cannot knock how Joseph O'Brien's runners are performing.
That said, the former Leger third - which comes off a little break - doesn't appear to be a natural hurdler and the same can be said of many horses sired by the great Galileo.
Moreover, winners' races like these tend to be won by winners rather than maidens.
We have another major contender in the form of Bamako Moriviere in the beginners' chase. This French-bred fell on his chase debut but I would tend not to be overly concerned about that as he had schooled very well and was essentially a little unlucky.
He was by far the highest rated of these runners hurdling, though the note of caution is that he did run poorly at this track before, albeit in the Galway Hurdle.
As such, I suppose, the track is a slight concern, but I think he should be a class above what he is taking on.
Both of these two horses are owned by Rich Ricci and hopefully we can give him a taste of some Galway magic.
The fillies' maiden has the makings of an informative contest, the regally-bred Conquest among the field. She has an edge over Active Approach on Leopardstown running but both can do better.
My pick is Moghamarah, which is by Dawn Approach and handled soft ground at the Curragh very well. That is a major help here.
The second of the Flat maidens is more difficult, with Espoir D'soleil one to monitor in the betting.
Maysonette, however, is preferred, reappearing just three days after her Curragh debut. She ran a blinder then and, despite the draw, gets the nod.
Her trainer Joe Murphy seems to unearth a good horse every year - Only Mine recently winning a big race at Naas - and he is well able to train them.
In the big race, we have another Ricci-owned fancy in Riven Light.
This horse has long worked with lots of speed, which is why we were disappointed with his hurdle runs; it could be he simply is not a natural hurdler.
As such, we ran him at the Curragh last time, when he tackled a mile and a half, and after that effort, Willie thought that we could even come back to a mile for his next run.
He is by a very good miler in Raven's Pass and does not have the worst draw in the world under Declan McDonogh (right).
We think he is a lot better than his bare form. It's a bit of a shot in the dark in this but we are expecting a good run.
His last hurdle run saw him finish second to stablemate Montalbano when he looked like winning but possibly just did not stay.
Steve Mahon tends to do really well with his runners in the Western tracks and Usa may provide the answer in the penultimate race. He stays well and has a good claimer to help.
Grainne's Dream represents us in the closing race. She won on her first start for the yard in Killarney over a mile and Pat Smullen afterwards advised us to go back in trip with her.
She is by a fast one in Acclamation and we are bringing her back to seven furlongs. She only got 6lb for winning in Killarney and we hope there might be a little more improvement in her.
She is drawn 16, far from ideal, but who better than Pat Smullen around Galway to deal with that? The main danger is Adrian Keatley's Mo Henry, which has Danny Sheehy - local to us at home - in the plate.
Danny provides excellent value for a 7lb claim and should offset the horse's penalty for winning.
We are not lacking in that department, though: Pat tends to have first choice on our Flat horses; then we use the best available, such as Declan McDonogh or Chris Hayes, both top-class too.
5.20: Law Girl
5.55: Bamako Moriviere
7.40: Riven Light
8.40: Grainne's Dream