Galway Festival 2016 – Day 4

Gordon Elliot has had a stunning year and took the Galway Plate with Lord Scoundrel yesterday. That success signified a change in approach to the Galway Festival from Ireland’s second biggest yard and today he has excellent chances of more success in the Guinness Dublin Porter Beginners Chase (1.50) with Tagitelle. This is a tricky debut for his seven year old but as a 153 rated hurdler if he’s good enough over his fences he ought to take the beating and his fourth in the Pertemps is a solid effort that few could match.

His Tiger Roll will need to find his best form in the Guinness Harp Novice Chase (2.15) but he was a good winner on his first two starts before flopping in a well contested novice chase at Killarney. However in Hurricane Ben, a hunter chaser who has taken well to open company, Xsquared, an in form two time flat winner recently, Nerverushacon, who was in control before the fall of Akito at Killarney last time, and stablemate Cecil Cordon there’s plenty of opposition so it may be that this is a contest best left.

In the Hop House 13 Handicap (3.00) plenty of luck in running will be rewired by those who have the most compelling form claims; Dream Walker, Boherbuoy and Ruler Of France, and of those on the inside, bookmakers have cottoned onto the chances of Daredevil Day who is now a best of 6/1. It looks a trappy contest where any one of several winners wouldn’t surprise and investment’s best placed elsewhere. The Corrib Stakes (3.30) has the same dilemma with many of these having not built on their most promising efforts especially from last season. Of those, Emergent would make the most appeal at what should be a suitable trip and ground for the Weld charge but her latest effort was a limp one and she’s a bet to be treated with kid gloves.

With no fewer than six last-time-out winners going to post the Guinness Novice Hurdle (4.05) could prove to be a tricky puzzle to solve but Delegate’s now thriving over hurdles, will enjoy the train that has hit the track and gets a 7lbs claim from A J Fox, which gives him claims as good as any although Bel Sas, Black Warrior and Exactoris.

Dan and Harry Skelton have quickly made a name for themselves on the National Hunt scene with a string of notable successes and they have been especially proficient with handicaps. Their Super Story was a deeply impressive win in the County at the Cheltenham Festival and he should be up to going close in the Guinness Galway Hurdle (4.45). Having been kept fresh for the race, he travelled as well as anything in the race and was much the best, winning by nearly three lengths with a striking turn of foot. He’s only been raised 7lbs for that success, and connections are repeating the the same plan which worked at the Festival, having kept him fresh since then. The only major worry is softer ground than he’d have wanted but it shouldn’t stop him going very close.

Pyromaniac has an obvious chance of being one for the judges here and must be high on the shortlist, along with Clondaw Warrior, who has finally had a mini break of sorts, having finished third in the Queen Alexandra after his third in the Scottish Champion Hurdle. Both will expect to be on the premises whilst Joesph O’Brien’s Tigris River, fourth in the Coral Hurdle, should improve from his decent fourth at Ballinrobe last time.

Tony Martin has had a decent week both on and off the track and outside of Pyromaniac he has a fascinating pair of contenders in the shape of last year’s winner and third Quick Jack and Ted Veale. Quick Jack was off 12lbs lower last year but a succession of very strong flat runs and the 5lbs claim of Donagh Meyler give the impression that he is still well handicapped and another big run would be no surprise.

Ted Veale has had a quieter time of thing but is just a 1lb higher this time around and was back to form when finishing second in the Q.R Handicap on Tuesday. He’d done that last year when following up his third with another third there so the signs seem clear and 25/1 is a tempting price considering the assessor’s kind hand.

The Guinness Foals Handicap (5.15) has gone to favourites for the last five years and not many have shown the form to get into it so it’s no surprise that Camlann is popular after a wide margin win over 10 furlongs whilst he was a decent third over hurdles earlier in the week. With recent Leopardstown winner Tara Dylan wanting some more decent ground few have shown the form that would make them appeal although new Gordon Ellliot recruit Mischief Maisy was of interest.

In the Guinness West Indies Porter Flat Race (6.00) very little makes appeal with the best ability having been shown by Liancillo Lord, who iss coming back from a 15 month break. There have been promising runs from others at the top of the market but they all came in weak bumpers and it’s best watched.



2 pts win Tagitelle, 1.50 Galway (11/4 general)

1 pt win Delegate, 4.05 Galway (11/2 Bet365)

2 pts win Superb Story, 4.45 Galway (9/2 general) NAP

1 pt each/way Ted Veale, 4.45 Galway (25/1 Bet365)