Sport Galway Races

Sunday 21 January 2018

Over out for Galway glory

Overturn. Photo: Getty Images
Overturn. Photo: Getty Images

The versatile Overturn heads the overseas challenge in Thursday's Guinness Galway Hurdle.

Donald McCain's six-year-old won the Scottish Champion Hurdle in April and landed the Northumberland Plate under a canny ride from Eddie Ahern last month.

This has been the plan for a while and despite no British-trained runner having been successful since Sagaman in 1991, McCain hopes to buck the trend.

"It was good to see (top-weight) Luska Lad still in there as it keeps his weight down a little bit," said McCain.

"Everything is grand, he's travelled over well and he's had a canter and I've been told he's in good nick. Let's just hope for a clear run.

"Everybody that has previously ridden him is smashed up at the minute - Jason (Maguire), Timmy (Murphy) and Brian Harding - but there's not many better than Graham (Lee) and we have a good association with him.

"He came and sat on him last week and was very happy with him.

"We've left him in the Ebor, we'll keep him in everything for the time being and see how we go."

Last year's winner Bahrain Storm arrives at the top of his game following victory at Tipperary, but is a stone higher in the weights than he was 12 months ago.

"We were favoured at the weights at Tipperary but it will be different on Thursday as everyone is weighted according to their handicap mark and we're up there at the top," said the seven-year-old's trainer Pat Flynn.

"There are some good horses in there with a stone and a half less than us and trying to give that weight away in a top race at Galway is not easy.

"He's a good horse and a brave horse and we're just keeping our fingers crossed.

"If he had a stone less I'd be very confident but weight can stop a train.

"Our horse is well and he'll be hard to beat if everything goes his way."

Evan Williams is under no illusions about the enormity of the task facing his two runners, Tiger O'Toole and Dantari.

"It's going to be very competitive and we'd be very naive to think otherwise. It's just phenomenal prize-money," said the Lancarfan trainer.

"I was disappointed with Tiger O'Toole's run last time at Market Rasen. I think he's a better horse than that.

"He got clobbered at the first flight of hurdles and then he was never in a position where he was going to finish any closer than where he ended up.

"Dantari is very tough and keeps finishing second. That's why he keeps going up in the weights and the hurly-burly of a race like this won't inconvenience him too much.

"The truth of it is there are some horses in there who are better treated on their old form and have been plotted up for the race.

"Some of those have got better form than we've got, but it's such good money we thought we'd take a chance."

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