Jacksonslady has real claims to showpiece for Geraghty
The move to daytime racing coincides with the first real showpiece of the Festival week, the Galway Plate. Last year it was very much a family affair with Tom Mullins following his brothers Tony and Willie and father Paddy as winning trainers in the race.
And while the Mullins clan have another strong hand in this renewal, I fancy Jacksonslady to beat them all home. Barry Geraghty's mount won a good race at Leopardstown at Christmas and will love this ground. She has real claims.
It's a competitive race and it will be very interesting to see if Carlingford Lough gets into the mix. He's first reserve and if he squeezes in he'll have a very good chance indeed.
See full racecards for this evening's meeting.
I ride Muirhead and we have an each-way chance. He was sixth in this race last year when he didn't like the ground and it will be much more suited to him this year. If things go right for us we'll be there or thereabouts.
But it is another very open renewal of the Plate and that has been the tradition. Just three favourites have won the race since 2000 and only four winners have been priced below double figures so it's worth having a good long look before deciding what to go with.
Blackmail is the pick of the entries in the first race of the day. He was second in Bellewstown on the Flat last time out and looks to have all the credentials to win this one, even though it is his hurdling debut. And if Monday is anything to go by, Tony Martin's yard is also in good form.
My other ride of the day comes in the Handicap Hurdle at 3.35, when I partner Six Stone Ned. Again, we're in with an each-way shot but he has been chasing so he'll have to adapt to be in amongst it here.
Air Chief has won a couple of races on the Flat this year so he's in good form and can beat them all home here. Landero is the one that jumps off the page in the 4.10. He was very impressive in his first run over three miles in Roscommon and I'm sure he can do the business over the same distance here for Robbie Power and Andrew Heffernan.
It's difficult to look past Aidan O'Brien's Army Ranger in the next race. His daughter Sarah O'Brien is up and she looks like she has the machinery here in the Galileo three-year-old.
After the big race of the day there's another interesting handicap where The Alarm Clock looks the pick of the bunch. He ran very well the last day and he stays well so he'll probably like the uphill finish at Ballybrit.
Indian Icon hasn't been too far away in any of his runs so he can get a win for Dessie Hughes in the penultimate race of the day, while Jayed Jidan can be the only choice for the last. Dermot Weld has won 13 of the last 17 editions of the race, so the claims are obvious.
3.00 Blackmail (nap)
3.35 Air Chief
4.45 Army Ranger
6.05 The Alarm Clock
6.40 Indian Icon
7.10 Jayed Jidan
FOLLOWERS of Davy Condon were on good terms with themselves last night after his headline tip, Brendan Brackan, landed the featured Topaz Mile at a rewarding price of 10/1. And just for good measure, the leading jockey also tipped up two other winners – Rathlin (13/8) and Tarfarsha (2/5) – for a near 42/1 treble.