Race Time: 8.20pm Meeting: Galway Festival Distance: 2m
Full Race Name: McGettigan’s INH Flat Race
The first day of the Galway Festival is drawing to a close after seven action packed races, and we end with an Irish National Hunt Flat race (or bumper as they are affectionately known), and one of the more interesting races of the day where we seriously suggest a watchful eye on the betting up to race time may well tell us a lot more facts than we have at our fingertips right now. Overnight betting has the John Joseph Hanlon trained Another Cyclone (2/1) leading the market after a highly promising first run when fourth to Castello Sforza at Fairyhouse. The form of that race is part untested and part poor (the fifth was soundly beaten since while the first four are yet to run since), and with 113 day off the track it would appear that the betting is based on rumour and innuendo, not plain cold facts.
Matchaway (4/1) looks better value to us having proved his recent wellbeing with a second place to Kilclispeen at Punchestown in what looked to us like a decent enough contest. Although hardly earth shattering, the third has placed twice since while the fifth has placed three times and the winner has placed over hurdles, so the form has an alright look to it if nothing else. Add his guaranteed race fitness as opposed to the 113 day absence for the favourite and you can see why we are tempted at the prices, though this is not a two horse race and there are other options.
If you are a generous sort you may be willing to forgive the Aidan O’Brien trained Kalopsia (6/1) her disappointing run at Roscommon where the hood looked to have anything but a positive effect, but prior to that she had finished second twice at Limerick and Down Royal. Her short head defeat by Glacial Drift saw her out battled more than outclassed, which has to be a worry (you really need to be a fighter in the jumping game), and is enough to put us off her here, even if her form suggests she is pretty likely to be in the front four home at the very least.
One win in God knows how long is enough to put me off backing Jim Culloty’s Mighty Concorde regardless of the betting (sorry Jim we wish you luck but its pure maths), which in turn leads to the unraced Lucy Mc (12/1) for Gordon Elliott. A home bred daughter of Tikkanen we know absolutely nothing about her other than her trainers record here of two winners from nine runners or 22%, which is not to be sniffed at. Finding one last horse to even mention hasn’t exactly been easy, but the betting suggests we should at least consider Miss Chief (11/1) after her third to Swift Harry on her debut under rules. Bought out of the point-to-point field, she will obviously be better over obstacles and over further in time, but she could yet serve it up to some of these if her undoubted extra stamina can be used somehow as a weapon.