Saturday 14 December 2019

Giant's Quest can showcase class on Flat

Richard Forristal

Seven days before the west rocks to the unmistakable beat of the week-long Galway Festival, this evening sees Ballinrobe initiate its abbreviated precursor.

While tomorrow evening's programme is made up entirely of National Hunt races, the Mayo venue hosts a mixed card tonight. Mixed might also be the most appropriate word to describe the quality of the fare on offer.

Giant's Quest is one of the more interesting contenders in action. The Dermot Kelly-trained son of Giant's Causeway has looked above average in bumpers so far, scoring smoothly at Cork on his fourth start in May.

Giant's Quest switches to the Flat now in the opening maiden over 14 furlongs, but the way he accelerated clear after travelling sweetly last time augurs well.

It is also of note that he beat two winners of three subsequent bumpers into third and fourth at the Mallow venue, so that bit of class may set Pat Smullen's mount apart in a poor race.

In the Mayo Advertiser Handicap, Golan Go is worth consideration under Wayne Lordan. Walter De La Mere and Priors Gold are two others that bring respectable recent form into this, but both must concede plenty weight to Paul Magnier's gelding.

Successful at Wexford in May, Golan Go is consistent, and ran a blinder when fourth behind Whatever It Takes under 10st last month. With the form of that Tipperary race working out, he can oblige for Lordan off a more favourable 9st 3lb here.

Tracey Collins' Black Belt should take all the beating in the maiden that follows, while Ross Bay appeals in the Flannery's Bistro Mares' Maiden Hurdle.

A winner and second three times in four bumpers last year, Ross Bay probably needed the run when fifth on her reappearance in a similar contest at Sligo last week.

Two of today's rivals, Cinderella Story and Fantastic Gold, finished in front of her on that occasion. Nonetheless, those two had the benefit of a run then, so Ross Bay should pose a more live threat.

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