Race Time: 5.15pm Meeting: Galway Festival
Full Race Name: Galwaybayhotel.com & Radissonhotelgalway.com Novice Hurdle (2m)
This race is the perfect example of Galway races and explains to us and everyone else what an important meeting this really is! Where else would Willie Mullins have a last time out winner who is looking to make it four wins in a row yet he wont even start as favourite? Where Gordon Elliott sends an unbeaten gelding who won his last race by ten lengths yet he is forecast to go off at bigger than 5/1 such is the level of the competition, so we are really looking forward to this race for starters!
Dermot Weld trains favourite Zafayan (7/4) whose place in the market seems based on a combination of his high quality flat form (a close up third to Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris at Chester when last seen), his five win record in this race in the last ten years, and an interview with the trainer where she was given a glowing report, but we suggest that may mean this two miles could be too short for her and wonder if all the value has already gone?
Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh are, as we all know, a more than potent combination and in Bachasson (15/8) they may actually have the value option for the first time in how many years? Yet another French import, the son of Voix Du Nord was bought after winning a couple of bumpers at Vittel and Strasbourg but showed he has talent by our standards with an easy win in a Sligo maiden. He does have to give four pounds to his market rival and will improve for the experience and is the one we just about fancy in an intriguing contest.
Gordon Elliott is still a trainer on the up and up and he will be represented by Moonmeister (11/2) who is another unknown quantity over hurdles having won two out of two at Downpatrick and Bellewstown, the latter by an easy ten lengths. He wasn’t very good on the flat to be honest and may struggle upped in class against some better than average opponents and third place may be the best connections can realistically expect this evening in front of a packed house.
Neverushacon (6/1) is another in pretty much the same boat – outclassed by some of these on the flat, but with a win over hurdles against his name last time out, added to the training skills of the brilliant Mrs Jessica Harrington. He does look more workmanlike than brilliant so far, but seems sure to improve for that race and may at least fight over third place assuming the principles all get round unscathed of course. Lastly, how about an outsider at a double figure price with Barry Geraghty on board a horse for leading owner J P McManus and in training with Aidan O’Brien?
All The Answers (10/1) is immaculately bred by National Hunt standards being by Kayf Tara out of a Mtoto mare and as such is a complete unknown quantity, and the fact that they send him here is interesting in itself as there will no doubt be plenty of easier options he could have tried instead – but does that mean he is strongly fancied and working well – or just that his owner likes runners at the bigger meetings, and this certainly fits the bill?