7-1 TWICE AND 5-1 AS SHAMROCK MAGIC LANDS GALWAY-PLATE BETTING MONEY: Shamrock analyses the Galway Plate this afternoon, after dishing up three top-priced winners yesterday: Rainforest Magic (WON 5-1), Stunning View (WON 7-1) and Iron Major (WON 7-1)
3.00 Galway: That man Dermot is at it again: he’s Welded the last two winners from one that had been seen just once, and one that was having its first outing over hurdles.
Galileo’s Choice fits that second category and could complete yet another Ballybrit hat-trick for the Curragh yard. Drumfire (second last year), Dingaling and Laganbank should make the market sing.
3.35 Galway: Only one winner this century has carried more than 11st 1lb in this, and claiming off them isn’t the answer: no apprentice has scored since way back, if ever.
Royal Reveille’s 12-lengths defeat of Sea Master was boosted by the second in a good handicap at Killarney but he wasn’t even considered (SP 20-1) in the same league when he raced against Sparkling Tara at Limerick.
‘Shark’ Hanlon has the Kayf Tara gelding cherry ripe for my Galway nap and, significantly, Andrew McNamara, who was on the second horse, beaten favourite, that day at Limerick, takes the mount.
4.10 Galway: Another race that top weights never win: seven out of eight have come from 10st 10lb or lower.
So it is that my short list is a fearsome five in the middle of the handicap: Campbonnais (Gigginstown stamina horse), Don’t Stop Me Now (‘Shark’ again has one spot on; cantered home last week), Abbey Glen (up 21lb still going strong), Corrick Bridge (hit form) and Eirland (stable in form, suited by track). McCoy could make the difference on Abbey Glen.
5.25 Galway Plate: Here it is then! The one we’ve been waiting for. Take out horses of a double-figure age and all with more than 10st 12lb and you start (only start) to have a fighting chance.
The only winner with a big weight was Ansar, scoring back-to-back wins for Dermot Weld off 11st 11lb after being successful with 10st 12lb the year before.
Finger On the Pulse, the winner last year off an identical 10st 12lb, is on the same weight mark again, so maybe we shouldn’t be too hasty about knocking out all the 10-year-olds.
However, he is racing off a 9lb higher rating. He is also without last year’s winning rider, Tony McCoy, who presumably had the pick of several younger horses but stuck with the 10-year-olds, with Dancing Tornado, 12lb higher than he’s ever won off and very much a struggling bridesmaid for the last 16 months.
I can’t fancy a Worcester and Market Rasen winner, Qulinton, on this stiff track, particularly under a 12lb penalty, but my two against the field are still not very original: Bahrain Storm, a Galway Hurdle winner, carefully plotted into bottomweight here with a winning run on the Flat, and Blazing Tempo.
I’m tipping ‘Tempo’ for the very top: as a son of Accordion (FLagship Uberalles, Albertas Run) out of a Supreme Leader mare, just touched off at the Punchestown festival, and set for better luck here.
NAP: Blazing Tempo (5.25 Galway)
NEXT BEST: Galileo’s Choice (3.00 Galway)
DAQ TRIO (all each-way): Sparkling Tara (3.35 Galway), Abbey Glen (4.10 Galway), Blazing Tempo (5.25 Galway)
GALWAY-GOODWOOD DOUBLE: Galileo’s Choice (3.00 Galway) and Decent Fella (4.55 Goodwood)