Jack can give it a lash and silence big guns
BACK Jack to give it a lash in today's Galway Hurdle. Oliver McKiernan's Whatever Jacksays can land the most valuable jumps race in the country.
Admittedly, he is a little down the list in the betting but this race is a bit of a graveyard for favourites, with only two market leaders coming away with the spoils since the turn of the millennium.
And at around 12/1 at the time of writing, Whatever Jacksays represents some real value.
He's been in good form -- winning his last few races -- and he has been hiked up in the weights and might still have some improvement left in him.
He'll like the ground and loves a good gallop and when he gets in front he tends to stay there, as witnessed by his last run over hurdles in Cork when he was streets ahead of the rest.
Despite being hiked up in weight after that run, he went on to win a maiden on the Flat in Leopardstown, so it looks like he can handle what's been thrown at him today.
Rebel Fitz is another which can run a big race, while I'm down to ride first reserve Cause of Causes. If he gets in, you'd be hoping for a good run, but he's very young for this company.
I have a spin in the race preceding the Galway Hurdle. Protaras goes for Noel Meade in the Guinness Novice Hurdle and he is a decent sort, but it's a first run after a bit of a break (he was pulled up in April) so it's hard to say exactly how he'll react to that.
So I'm going to pin my colours on Letherbelucky. She won well for Willie Mullins in her last run and looks well prepared to prevail with a decent race.
In the opening race of the day, the Beginners' Chase, I'm going to plump for Silverhand. I've ridden him at home for Noel Meade and he's in good form. He hasn't run since May when he finished third in Roscommon and is going to benefit from that break.
In the 2.25 Novice Chase, Great Oak looks to be the pick for John Nicholson. The six-year-old won last time out at Tipperary. She'll like the ground at Ballybrit and jumps well.
The fillies' stakes has attracted some fine entries, not least Dermot Weld's Yellow Rosebud, but I'm going to oppose her here and opt for Marvada.
She was second at Leopardstown in June before going one better at Naas and should be in the shake-up.
In the penultimate race of the day, I'm going to go for Call Me Bubbles. He's another which won on his last run and also likes the soft ground. In the last race of the day, Indian Winter can take a race that traditionally doesn't go too well for Weld, but Robbie McNamara can change that.
2.25 Great Oak
3.00 Snap Alam
4.50 Whatever Jacksays
5.30 Call Me Bubbles
6.05 Indian Winter