BALLYBRIT NAPS HAT-TRICK BID: Shamrock goes for a treble of best bets at the Galway races today, after Blazing Tempo (WON 5-1) in the big Plate on Wednesday and Daffern Seal (WON 11-4) at the Ballybrit track yesterday.
TWO DOUBLES AND A LAY UP: He landed a 9-1 double of nap and next best at Galway on Wednesday and had a 5-1 double with two out of three in his trio yesterday. He laid Mr Nosie (3rd 7-2) in Daffern Seal’s race.
5.10 Galway: Good Decision, from a yard that’s won this twice in the last decade, is one of four J P McManus runners. All bar one winner since 2000 came from the bottom half of the handicap.
Down the weights there alongside Good Decision is the other McManus runner, Didn’t He Do Well, from a stable you always keep an eye out for here, and Willie Mullins’ recent acquisition Rockyaboya. But that man Dermot Weld looms large again.
Rainforest Magic won here over 2m on the Flat on Tuesday – with Ephorus fifth – and has has been third and first on the Flat on the two occasions blinkers have been fitted; he now tries them over hurdles for the first time, with Weld already on a record-equalling 11 winners for the festival with three days to go.
6.15 (Galway Blazers): Wins Now had a ‘P’ in his recent form (P00) when he won this last year off 125 – now 123 -and it might have been two ‘pulled ups’ this season (officially P0) after his poor showing in the Midlands National at Kilbeggan. But dare you write him off?
Future All Star recorded a triumph over adversity – several injuries – when he won that Midlands National in style by two lengths from Flemross, with Tasman fourth.
Another you can’t write off is Got Attitude, whose form this year (2003P) looks a little different when you only count the races run in cheekpieces (203), with the second a terrific run in the Leopardstown Chase and the nought a fifth of 16 there to Carrigmartin with whom he’s a stone better off.
Got Attitude’s last win was over the Galway CD last October on ground similar to today’s, though I note that the winning jockey, Barry Geraghty, prefers Serve Time, the local novice running in his first handicap here.
Paradis De Thaix’s Tipperary win was in a very slow time for the ground that day and Mr Bones is up 11lb for his narrow Wexford win (the runner-up, Good Decision, runs in the opener).
6.50 Galway: Another race invariably won from the bottom half of the handicap, with only one winning favourite this century, two stats which both count against Flowers Of Spring, now 9lb worse off with Cnocandancer on that one’s Cork reappearance.
The snag with the ‘Dancer’ is that her form tailed off dramatically last season and she could be one of those who must be caught ultra-fresh while she has forgotten about the pain implicit in racing to win.
As for Honey Of A Kitten, this is not one of Weld’s races (last won it in 1993), and John Oxx’s Dawariya – a Selkirk, and probably best with cut – steps up three furlongs. So I’m leaving it to Ballydoyle’s Obligation, considered a Classic colt as a juvenile.
7.25 Galway: Dermot Weld would like to win this for Sheikh Mohammed but reaches for the blinkers on Harangue to try to fend off Monte Carlo, with Aidan O’Brien looking for a third win in the last four runnings of this. It’s Monte Carlo or bust!
8.00 Galway: They’ve been coming from behind, tucking in off an outside draw, over this kind of trip in handicaps this week, and a string of front-runners (led by Ayanna, Cash or Casualty and Hollymount King) from stalls right across the track should make this one no different.
Seems to play into the hands of the front two in the market, the Weld handicap debutante, Along Came Casey – yes, ‘Casey’ is a filly – and Good Shot Noreen but it means that ‘Noreen’, a 7f winner here on Monday, has to get the extra furlong from that outside berth whereas ‘Casey’, a stayer, can tag the rail leaders and use her stamina at the finish. Weld again.
NAP: Rainforest Magic (5.10 Galway)
NEXT BEST: Monte Carlo (7.25 Galway)
LAY: Flowers Of Spring (6.50 Galway), Good Shot Noreen (8.00 Galway)
OUTSIDERS: Didn’t He Do Well (5.10 Galway), Got Attitude, Wins Now (6.15 Galway)
DAQ YANKEE: Rainforest Magic (5.10 Galway), Obligation (6.50 Galway), Monte Carlo (7.25 Galway), Along Came Casey (8.00 Galway)
GALWAY-GOODWOOD DOUBLE: Serve Time (6.15 Galway) and Maqaasid (4.50 Goodwood)