Race Time: 6.15pm Meeting: Galway Festival Distance: 7f
Full Race Name: Claregalwayhotel.ie (C & G) European Breeders Fund Maiden (Plus 10 Race)
We are beginning to worry that Dermot Weld will have a field day here as he trains the favourite (for the third race in a row), this time with True Solitaire (11/10) who is trading plenty short enough for our liking at that price but does look the likeliest winner if shockingly poor value. A good looking son of Oasis Dream, he didn’t seem to have any excuses to us when beaten two lengths on his debut after sustained market support saw him sent off at Evens, and although the winner has since placed in a Group Three, we seem less impressed than the bookmakers here, though thee stables ridiculous record of having won this very race six times in the last nine years means we can hardly oppose him with any confidence.
Aidan O’Brien won the other three renewals in that nine year period so needs to be taken very seriously, including last year with Jamaica, though none of them arrived without the benefit of a previous run which must count against the chances of second favourite Unicorn (4/1). He is a quite stunningly bred son of Galileo out of One Moment In Time, and entered in all the top Autumn races and could well be special enough to take this at the first attempt though be warned, that is a serious risk and stakes should be reduced accordingly.
Johannes Vermeer (6/1) is from the same Ballydoyle yard but disappointed first time out when backed to odds on before a mediocre third to Mrs King at Tipperary. The fact that he was so well supported suggests he was fit enough to do himself justice and as he didn’t miss the break, or show too many signs of inexperience, it may just be that he isn’t as good as the betting suggested? Again, he does hold a few fancy entries but this is a commercial operation and if they can win a decent race with him, they will, if only to increase his stallion potential in the long term. Seamie Heffernan rides which suggests Joseph O’Brien has chosen Unicorn but we could all have it wrong and it is simply a case of sticking with the jockey who rode him on his debut – its just one of those races with more questions than answers I am sorry to say!
David Wachman trains not one but both of our two remaining horses, starting with the unraced Fire Tree (10/1), yet another well bred colt but this time without the fancy entries. He should run a good solid race under Wayne Lordan but without troubling the principals, a remark that may also apply to stable companion Candelaria (16/1) who is perhaps surprisingly owned by J P McManus who is better known for his exploits over the jumps. He is actually bred for this sort of trip being by Kyllachy out of a Danehill mare and looks the more likely of the two to pull off a shock if anyone does, but all in all this is a race better off watched than speculated on!