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Galway Festival 2016 – Day 4 Ramblings

Not a disaster on Day 3 at Galway, with 3 placed horses at odds of 10/1, 10/1 and 14/1, plus The Ghurka winning at Goodwood (available at 2/1 up until lunchtime).

Those inclined to lay got off to a nice start when Silver Concorde finished second after trading as low as 4/11 (“you would have to lay him all day”).

In the next Popboru bagged us the place money at 10s, while later Lady Fandango was again unlucky, but still finished third for the place money at the same price. Cairdiuil, identifed as the danger, was 2nd after being backed in from 10/1 to 5/1.

The feature race was the biggest disappointment, with only the 14/1 tip Clarclam managing a place in 5th. Anyway, onwards and upwards for Thursday tips below.

Before that, don’t forget that the US PGA golf tees off on Thursday – I recommend backing Adam Scott and JB Holmes at 33/1 and 66/1 respectively with Sky Bet and their 7 places each-way. And the golf experts share my faith in the Aussie here.

Guinness Dublin Porter Beginners Chase     ATR

If you remember, in my preview for the Tuesday race that Briar Hill contested, I wrote: “Next up is a beginner’s steeplechase. If you are ever thinking of having a bet in a race like this, then you need to urgently contact a mental health professional”.

A 66/1 shot won that race, which was around 300/1 on the exchanges. It is safe to say I was vindicated by that and would suggest you remember that sage advice for all beginners chases, bar none. So, we will leave it there.

Guinness Harp Novice Chase     ATR

This is an awkward little 2 mile 2 furlong novice chase, but every cloud and all that. Once there are no non-runners, which is no guarantee, we have 8 runners, which would mean it’s an ideal race for an each-way punt, paying the first three.

Previous Cheltenham winner Tiger Roll will prove popular, but isn’t for me. Keep the stakes small, but I would give a squeak to an outsider called CECIL CORBETT. The ground will be no problem and while the trip is on the short side for a horse that won over 2m 6f last time out, hopefully the stiff finish here will negate that.

Cecil Corbett (ew)2.25 Galway12/1Bet365

Hop House 13 Handicap     ATR

This is a wide open flat handicap run over the mile, where it wouldn’t hurt to fill your chamber with more than one bullet.

Hidden Oasis is likely to go off favourite and knowing his connections it could go off any price. This depends on what they have been up to with the horse all year. He won in Killarney last time out beating Could Should Would, who itself ran very well here on Tuesday. Your guess is as good as mine though, as to how much Hidden Oasis had in hand that day.

I am again going to side with what I have seen and tip the top weight, DREAM WALKER. This horse is over from England and has all the same connections, as Top Notch Tonto, who quite frankly we were robbed with on Tuesday. The jockeys claim of 7 lightens his load and he is a confident each-way bet at best price 8/1.

Of the rest I’d side with Magnificent and Marshall Jennings.

Dream Walker (ew)3.00 Galway8/1Paddy Power, Boylesports

Arthur Guinness E.B.F. Corrib Fillies Stakes     ATR

We have a listed flat race run over the 7 furlongs here. This is not one of the strongest listed races that I’ve ever seen, but one horse stands out to me in PLANCHART, with Tuesday’s big race winner, Declan McDonagh, in the plate.

This horse will love the ground and didn’t stay the 10 furlong trip last time out, where he still ran a cracker. He drops back 3 furlongs today and that should be ideal at this track. He should be flying up that hill and is nearly the day’s banker.

Ladbrokes offer just 2/1 so snap up the 11/4 on offer with Racebets while you can.

Planchart (win)3.30 Galway11/4Racebets

Guinness Novice Hurdle     ATR

This is a wide open novice hurdle over 2 mile 4 furlongs and the bookies can’t split them, with 4 of the 9 runners pretty much joint-favourites.

Willie Mullins has one of them in Bel Sas and whilst I’d normally be drawn to the odd Willie, I will swerve it in this case.

The horse I like is Gordon Elliott’s CARRIG CATHAL. He won easily 2 runs ago, but only scraped home the last time out, where the slow pace didn’t appear to suit. I wouldn’t imagine they’ll hang about here and the trip will be more to his liking.

The danger could well be his stablemate and top weight Delegate, but I’ll leave him for someone else to take care of.

As per my usual warning, and as vindicated with Sea Light getting backed from 10/1 in to 7/4 on Wednesday, Charles Byrnes’ Black Warrior could be anything.

Carrig Cathal (ew)4.05 Galway4/1Bet365

Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap     ATR

The big race of the day is the Galway Hurdle; a handicap hurdle run over 2 miles and I’ll start by addressing the elephant in the room, number 11, Pyromaniac.

This horse should not be running here. He ran in Killarney two weeks ago where he was clearly not allowed to win. The stewards looked into it, the trainer and jockey were fined and Pyromaniac was banned for 42 days, thus ruling him out of Galway, which was clearly his intended coup-pulling target.

As is typical in a case like this, the trainer appealed. Evidence was heard which suggested the horse had mouth ulcers that affected his performance. Amazingly, yet at the same time unsurprisingly, the committee found this plausible – but instead of penalising the trainer for using the racecourse as a training ground, they decided that he shouldn’t have allowed the horse to run in that condition.

The horse remained banned and the trainer’s fine was halved. However, on Monday last, Tony Martin was handed a judicial review by the high court into the horses ban. No date has been set for the review but the horse’s ban is lifted until this has been heard. So here we are; in what has already made a complete mockery of Irish racing, if this horse was to win it really would top it all off. Would you back Usain Bolt to win Olympic gold with a mouth ulcer? I know I would.

Back to more important matters; what will win the race? I picked the winner of this race to win the County Hurdle at Cheltenham in March and, wisely, he hasn’t been seen since. That horse is SUPERB STORY, who travels over from England.

This won’t be the first time the English have travelled over to take something that isn’t theirs. This horse was only given a 7Ib rise for that win back in March, and that looks more than fair. He has only run three times over hurdles, winning twice and was second to a Champion Hurdle runner in the other. I think he can go right to the top and will win this on Thursday. He’s a best-price of 9/2 at Paddy Power (paying 5 places) and a massive each-way play at that – it’s my bet of the meeting.

For those who like bigger prices, Tempo Mac is worthy of an each-way interest at 33/1 with those 5 places at either Paddy Power or Bet365.

Superb Story (ew)4.45 Galway9/2Paddy Power

Guinness FOALS Handicap     ATR

Again, a wide open flat handicap and I’ll cut straight to the chase – if TARA DYLAN shows up in the same form as she did when winning in Leopardstown last week, then the 5lb penalty she got for that won’t stop her winning this.

There are various bookies offering 5/1, so choose your victim, click the link below, pull his pants down and spank him 50 Shades of Galway. The danger might not run as it is currently the second reserve, and that is Masonbrook Lady.

Tara Dylan (ew)5.25 Galway5/1Bet365Sky Bet, BetVictor, Coral, William Hill

Guinness West Indies Porter Flat Race     ATR

Anything could win this bumper but I do like a horse of Jessica Harrington’s called PLAYBOOK. In his first run ever he finished third in a blanket finish on ground similar to this and looked a horse to note.

He must have had some issues though, as he hasn’t run since and that was nearly a year ago. This is a strange place to make his comeback, but they must be happy with him – back him each-way at 4/1 with BetVictor, but play it small.

Playbook (ew)6.00 Galway4/1BetVictor