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The seven days of the Galway Festival 2017 are almost upon us. We have all you need to know about the week in our Galway Betting Guide, but what about the horses themselves? Who should we be looking at to try and make us a profit from the meeting? We have five of the best horses to watch at the Galway Festival below.
Henry De Bromhead’s charge absolutely ripped apart a course and distance handicap at the 2016 Festival, looking a natural to progress to the Galway Plate. He was impressive in the Connacht National when last seen, travelling strongly, before showing a smart turn of foot on the run-in. De Bromhead said after his win here last July “He could be coming back here in years to come. He seemed to love it around there.” One of the smartest trainers in the business, this has surely been the plan for the last year, taking home the feature race of the entire week would come as no surprise.
Part of the infamous Charles Byrnes gamble at Roscommon last August, he has shown since just how much he had in hand on that occasion. Placed off 128 at Cheltenham in October on his last run of the season over hurdles. He has been sent over fences this campaign, making a wining debut over the bigger obstacles, before a well beaten favourite, turned over by the horse he had comfortably beaten the time before. Byrnes like most trainers, would no doubt like to land a huge punt at this famous Festival. This horse looks to still have improvement in the tank, with potential entries on the Friday and Sunday of the meeting.
Andy Slattery has always held this son of Rip Van Winkle in high regard. Winner on his debut at Roscommon, he ran just once more as a juvenile when behind Capri. He is yet to finish out of the first three in five starts this season, but has given the impression on more than one occasion that there is more in the tank. Placed over both six and a half furlongs and nine and a half furlongs, he is incredibly adaptable. Holds entries in handicaps on both the Wednesday and Sunday of the meeting, over a mile and seven furlongs respectably. He is still lightly raced and has the potential to up his game when it matters.
John James Fearne will be delighted to have seen rain fall of late, the meeting looking to start on soft ground. His filly has run both of her best career races on genuinely soft ground at Gowran, another right handed undulating track. She is just a single pound higher than when runner up at Gowran earlier on this season. The more rain that falls, the stronger her chance is going to become, providing she can prove just as effective on this slightly different track.
A long time favourite for us here at myracing, he won at the Festival in 2014, 2015 and again last year. He has a pair of third place efforts to round out five career races at one of his favourite tracks. Winning from 78 and 75 the last two seasons make a mark of 72 coming in look potentially lenient, despite arriving in no sort of form this season. The softening of the ground is in his favour as well, while it would be a surprise if he hadn’t had this as the main aim of his entire season right from the start.