Happy Friday we looked for; Happy Friday we got. The banker of the day, Ivan Grozny, was confidently tipped up: “This will lead from the front and win. Not much more to be said on the matter folks. Fill the tank.” The price at the time was 15/8, but a non-runner brought that down to 6/4. He was then smashed in to 4/9 but returned 8/11. As predicted he led all the way, eventually winning by 14 lengths.
With St Stephens Green (13/2) and As De Pique (10/1) bagging the place profit, when 2nd and 4th in their respective races, we can consider this a solid day.
Tune in tomorrow for more of the same, with the following Galway Festival tips.
Ladbrokes Mobile Maiden Hurdle
We start on Saturday with a maiden hurdle where I fully expect the Robbie McNamara favourite, ROGUE AGENT, to win under Ruby Walsh.
This horse certainly wasn’t bred as a Galway hurdler, but after a less than stellar flat career with Andre Fabre, here we are. He has miles more ability than these and once he settles he is the one that will win this at a tasty looking price of 3/1.
|Rogue Agent (win)||2.40 Galway||3/1||Paddy Power|
Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle
A big 2 mile 6 furlong handicap hurdle that holds a painful memory for yours truly. Many years ago, way back in 1997 to be precise, I literally got screwed by Willie here. My Da had a share in a horse called Sambara, who ran in this race. I was on each-way at 20/1, and coming to the last I couldn’t see her beat. To this day, I still have vivid images of Willie’s other runner Welsh Grit, coming past and doing us on the line; the winning jockey, a young Mr R Walsh.
However, that painful memory aside, and quite ironically, we will be taking our first Willie of the week here. WESTERNER LADY made her seasonal debut in Killarney two weeks ago and sluiced in. She has gone up 12lb since then, but you would have to think he can find that improvement in her here.
She is a massive bet each-way at 4/1. The dangers come in the form of Elusive Ivy, who was brought down here during the week, and Totalise, the English raider.
|Westerner Lady (ew)||3.15 Galway||4/1||Paddy Power|
Ladbrokes E.B.F. Maiden
It’s a maiden. Its Weld v O’Brien. I am trying to prevent the onset of repetitive strain injury…caused by typing; animals. Let’s move on.
An Pucan E.B.F. Nursery Handicap
Here we have a nursery, and no, that isn’t the sound of screaming children you can hear. A nursery, in this case, is a handicap race for the 2 year olds.
In this type of race I always look at the number 1 horse. Yes they are carrying the top weight, but they aren’t given the top weight for no reason.
Sadly, it’s another Weld favourite, but to be fair I have only tipped one of his all week, a short head loser, so I am well within my rights to side with another.
FIREY SPEECH is the clear favourite at 9/4 and based on his win at Naas last time out, I can see him having enough improvement to give the weight away and win.
|Firey Speech (win)||4.25 Galway||9/4||Betfair|
Ladbrokes Red Day Handicap
Beau Satchel is favourite for this mile handicap. He ran here on Tuesday and was backed as if defeat was out of the question before just getting up on the line in a blanket finish. That was his third win at this track and he has every chance of making it four with our friend Oisin Orr taking 7 off his back.
However, I will side with a horse who was beaten a short head on Wednesday, CAIRDIUIL. He looked to have the race in the bag but was interfered with, like a BBC intern, and nailed a short head. It’s time for his revenge here however, and at odds of 8/1 we will get on each-way. Hopefully, it’s the bookies satchel we will be emptying, at the expense of Beau Satchel.
|Cairdiuil (ew)||5.00 Galway||8/1||Paddy Power, Betfair|
Ladbrokes ‘The Grid’ Handicap
Another Weld handicap favourite here in Shinghari, making his handicap debut after 3 runs in maidens. I have no doubt that he is well handicapped, but I will side with a horse called MASONBROOK LADY down the bottom of the weights.
You may remember this name, as I mentioned her as the only danger to Tara Dylan here on Thursday, if she got a run (she was second reserve). She didn’t get in however, and there was no danger. Tara Dylan hosed in, we pulled down the bookies pantaloons and gave them a 50 Shades of Galway spanking. We will do the same to Victor here, with his stand-out price of 6/1 on Masonbrook Lady.
|Masonbrook Lady (ew)||5.35 Galway||6/1||BetVictor|
Terry Cunningham Memorial E.B.F. Mares Flat Race
As regular readers will know, and as new readers will learn, I despise mare’s bumpers. Bumpers are about as predictable as the weather, and as for trying to determine what mood a mare is in, well let’s just say Marty McFly couldn’t tell you that. So, what chance have I – I don’t even drive, let alone a DeLoreon. Forget this race and back Carl Frampton in the boxing tonight at a massive 12/5 with Bet365.