Patrick Mullins: 'Minella Beau can make it a hat-trick of Galway victories'
The Galway Blazers is traditionally the consolation race for the Plate, run over the same course and distance for those who didn't make the cut on Wednesday.
We run the two-time Galway Festival winner Minella Beau. He has won a maiden hurdle and a beginners chase at the festival in the past two years and seems to keep his best form for the place, a trait unusually shared by horses running in the green and purple of the Mee family. They have had great success this week thus far, with a winner on each of the first three days. I hope this horse can add another trophy to their mantelpiece.
Clearly the trip, track and ground will suit and he runs well fresh. Rachael Blackmore schooled him in the Curragh last week and said she had never gone down the strip as fast before!
I would be disappointed if he is not better than his mark of 131. He picked up valuable handicap experience during the winter in the Cork National, Troytown and Paddy Power chases. That will stand him in good stead for the rough and tumble of the Blazers. Only three horses in the past 20 years have carried more than his 11st3lb to victory but I think he can make it four today.
In the feature 1m4f handicap we run Legal Spin and Mr Adjudicator. Both ran here on Monday but neither had a hard race. If you've ever tried to drive across the roundabout around the Arc De Triomphe you will have an idea of the traffic.
The slow pace stacked everything up and my horse was lucky not to be brought down when Arctic Fire clipped heels and stumbled badly beside him. It's the closest I'll come to being part of a battle scene from Game of Thrones. It was a situation made for stuntmen.
I do wonder whether Legal Spin will have the tactical speed to win this one, but with a less than full field he should have more daylight to get into. Mr Adjudicator was eye-catching on Monday, the gaps didn't come and that happens around Galway on the flat.
Over hurdles, the jumps give you an opportunity to find slivers of daylight to slip into, but there is nothing to spread out the flat jockeys. Dropping out and coming ten wide is all very well, but it is hard to do on a favourite and much easier to do on one that has half a chance. He is still clearly well handicapped, has a nice weight and a good draw. I expect him to recoup any losses from Monday night.
My cousin Emmet has had another good week here, with two winners on the board. Emmet absolutely loves what he does and he brings an intelligence to the art of training. He enjoys having a small string of owners he knows well. I have to fight much less with him now as he is a valuable source of winners for me!
Sneaky Getaway provided us with two wins this season in Limerick and Leopardstown, and Emmet runs him in the finale tonight. A horse who is improving all the time, Emmet has placed him to great effect so far.
This is a step up though, and I think he could struggle to overcome The King. While not a prolific winner, The King has been highly tried. He has form behind Magical and Sir Erec. If he runs to within 14lb of his rating of 107, he will be hard to beat.
6.15 Minella Beau
6.50 Mr Adjudicator
8.25 The King